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American Heart Month


The American Heart Association is a national voluntary health agency to help reduce disability and death from cardiovascular diseases and stroke. To show support in the fight against women's heart disease, the American Heart Association’s signature women’s initiative, Go Red for Women, celebrates National Wear Red Day® on the first Friday each February. 
 
Why wear red? Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women. 1 in 3 women die as the result of heart disease or stroke. This amounts to approximately one woman every minute. Yet, it’s 80 percent preventable.
 
90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease. Heart disease includes the various problems that affect the blood vessels and cardiovascular system. Many of these problems are related to a process called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition where plaque builds up on the walls of the arteries, constricting or even stopping blood flow. This can cause a heart attack or a stroke. Other causes for heart disease include congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, and heart valve problems.
 
Those that consider themselves healthy often misdiagnose the symptoms of a heart attack because they don’t think it could happen to them. The most common symptom of a heart attack is chest pain. But, women also experience other symptoms like shortness of breath, breaking out into a cold sweat, nausea/vomiting, and back, neck, arm, stomach, or jaw pain. Signs of a stroke include sudden weakness in the face, arm, or leg; sudden confusion; trouble walking, speaking, or seeing; and severe headache with no known cause. 
 
Fewer women will die from heart disease every day because of healthy choices. These choices include staying active, eating healthy, and knowing your family history. Lifestyle changes, like not smoking and managing blood pressure and cholesterol, are other crucial preventative measures.

 

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