LAKE OCONEE — February is National Heart Month. In a given day more that 2,200 Americans lose their life to heart disease. That averages out to one death every 39 seconds. Though heart disease affects both men and women alike, most Americans may not realize that heart disease is the number one killer of women. In 2003 the American Heart Association (AHA) launched National Wear Red Day® to bring attention to cardiovascular disease, which claimed the life of nearly 500,000 American women each year. In 2004, the AHA created Go Red for Women to educate women on heart disease, help women come together to show their support, and increase funding for heart disease research and treatments for those in need. Knowledge is power! The more you know the more you can prevent heart disease from affecting you. Here are some general statistics about woman and heart disease.
- Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.
- Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.
- An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease.
- Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
- Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease.
- The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women and men, and are often misunderstood.
- Only 1 in 5 American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat.
- Women comprise only 24 percent of participants in all heart-related studies.
So are you at risk for heart disease? Do you know the factors that put you at risk? There are general risk factors and then risk factors that put you at higher risk of suffering from heart disease. Making small changes in the way you eat, sleep, exercise and how you handle stress can make a big difference in decreasing your risk. Again, knowledge is power! Know what the risks are and try to change the things that put you at risk.