February is upon us and once again hearts are the theme. Little pink, red, and white hearts decorate checkout lines, greeting cards, and of course, the confectionery aisle. Hearts and chocolate do go so well together, don’t they?
While we’re celebrating love, it’s also the perfect time to focus on our heart health as the American Heart Association, or AHA, kicks off American Heart Month.
Heart disease remains the number one killer in the United States each year. Every 25 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a heart attack.
Once thought of as a man’s disease, we now know that heart disease is an equal opportunity killer. It prematurely takes the lives of more women each year than all cancers combined.
Believing that these statistics are unacceptable, the mission of the AHA is simple -- “To build healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke.” (AHA 1)
One of the initiatives sponsored by the AHA to further the goal of a world free of heart disease and stroke is the Go Red for Women initiative.
A national endeavor, Go Red for Women is uniquely focused on educating women about heart disease, their personal heart health risk, and how they can take charge and empower themselves to build a different heart healthy future.
This is accomplished through community outreach events targeted to the unique needs of women when it comes to heart health, along with educational programs and much-needed research focused on understanding and improving the outcome for a woman’s heart health.
As AHA and Go Red for Women partner together during American Heart Month, be certain to look for events in your community -- or sponsor an event yourself -- to raise awareness of heart disease, educational activities, health screenings, fundraising activities and more.
Just a few of the many activities slated for American Heart Month include the State of Women’s Health Webinar and National Wear Red Day.
Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, along with Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Secretary, will kick off the American Heart Association on February 1, 2012 with the State of Women’s Heart Health Webinar.
The webinar will be held on February 1, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. This is the first time the AHA is conducting this type of webinar so don’t miss it!
To register, visit http://www.visualwebcaster.com/event.asp?id=84704.
National Wear Red Day is Friday, February 3, 2012. Show your support for women’s heart health by wearing red on Friday. Wear Red Day activities help to promote awareness of women’s heart issues.
You can participate by wearing red, telling five friends, enrolling in the 12-week Better U program to improve your heart health, participating in heart walks, or creating your own event to raise awareness.
For more information on National Wear Red Day activities, visit http://goredforwomen.org/wearredday/
National Wear Red Day. American Heart Association. 2012. http://goredforwomen.org/wearredday
American Heart Month. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 31 Jan 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth
h2012 Go Red For Women Kickoff. American Heart Association. 05 Dec 2011. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/General/2012-Go-Red-For-WomenHeart-Month-Kickoff_UCM_320383_Event.jsp#.TyYWE_n4KBg
Reviewed January 31, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith