February 3rd of 2017 was National Wear Red Day for raising awareness and funding the fight against heart disease and stroke. Americanheart.org says, “President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the first American Heart Month in 1964. Ever since, February has been dedicated to cardiovascular health.” Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States, and it is definitely not something to be ignored.
The purpose of National Wear Red Day is to “FUNraise” for women’s heart health. Appallingly, 1 in 3 deaths among women each year are caused by heart disease and stroke. Also, one woman is killed every 80 seconds by these causes. Advantageously, almost all cardiac and stroke events can be prevented through health and guidance. Wearing red on National Wear Red Day shows one’s support for the cause and also raises awareness for this pressing issue that goes unrecognized often. Fundraising allows for scientific, critical research to uncover knowledge about cardiovascular health.
Kayla Noto, a Battlefield freshman explains the significance of National Wear Red Day, “The importance [of this day] is to recognize people we have lost and who are struggling with a heart disease. Having a heart disease myself and having my mom almost pass out because of a heart surgery, it is important to recognize people who have to go through the heart disease, and also the people who have lost someone to it.” Heart disease is something people all around the world have a responsibility to be knowledgeable of.
Goredforwomen.org encourages everyone to, “know your numbers,” because, “they may just save your life.” Many cardiologists are prescribing “mindfulness” for heart health. Five numbers that all women (and men too) should be aware of in order to take control of their heart health are: Total Cholesterol, HDL (good) Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, and Body Mass Index (BMI). Ideal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg and 25 kg/m2 is ideal BMI.
One thing to be aware of is the fact that heart disease does not only occur in older ages. Everydayhealth.com says, “‘More women in their early twenties die of heart disease than of breast cancer,”’ says Noel Bairey Merz, MD, director of the Women’s Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles. Also, rates of heart attacks among younger women, ages 35 to 54, have been rising over the last 20 years.” These numbers may seem intimidating but they are essential to perceive.
Another important part of understanding heart health is knowing which risk factors can and cannot be controlled. Six risk factors that can be controlled are high blood pressure, smoking, high blood cholesterol, lack of regular activity, obesity or being overweight, and diabetes. Five that cannot be controlled are age, gender, heredity (family health history), race, and previous stroke or heart attack. Goredforwomen.org also provides a list of seven actions everyone can take to prevent stroke/heart disease:
Manage blood pressure.
Reduce blood sugar.
These seven things will not always be easy to achieve, but scientific research and doctors all over the world are aware of and will attest to the fact that they will improve people’s heart health everywhere. Visit goredforwomen.org for diet tips, healthy recipes, weight management suggestions, and much more.
Battlefield’s excellent nurse, Mrs. Fairbanks says, “[National Wear Red Day] really heightens the alert for the cause, and once a year it is a good time to bring things to the forefront. Heart health is important all year, and this day gives people an opportunity to look at themselves and make changes as changes are needed. It also makes people consider the risk factors.” Heart disease and strokes can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle, awareness of the problem, and keenly monitoring bodily numbers. Take part of National Wear Red Day next year in order to support the cause.