Heart disease is the number one killer of women in Utah. In 2004, heart disease and stroke killed six women every day or one woman every four hours. Nationwide, one of every 2.5 women dies from heart disease and stroke.
But the good news is that they can largely be prevented. For that reason Southeastern Utah District Health Department has joined the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women Movement and are encouraging Utah women to improve their heart health while taking action to fight women's heart disease.
To stimulate heart disease and stroke awareness and help women live heart healthy lifestyles, Southeastern Utah District Health Department is organizing exciting 2006 programs and initiatives, including Wear Red Day on Feb. 3, when women and men alike are encouraged to go red - in their own fashion. Our local community event is inviting women to join us to learn about women and heart disease at a dinner event, to be held on Feb. 3. The event will begin at 6 p.m.at the CEU Jennifer Leavitt Student Center. Those wishing to attend are encouraged to pre-purchase tickets at Southeastern Utah District Health Department, and Castleview Hospital. The keynote and guest speakers will be Juila Brachison, Miss Utah and Danielle Pendergrass, N.P.
"We can no longer ignore heart disease," said, Dave Cunningham, Health Officer. "Too often in Utah, women are so concerned with their families that they forget to take care of themselves. While awareness is important, it's time for women to take action now, to love and protect their hearts while maintaining healthier lifestyles. To that end, Go Red encourages women to not only join the movement but also take simple, everyday steps to protect their hearts."
Being overweight or obese, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking can increase the risk for heart disease and stroke. Women also can have different risk factors and warning signs than men do:
Almost ten percent of women in Utah are smokers putting them at increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
More than one-third of Utah women ages 50 plus have been diagnosed with high cholesterol.
High blood pressure is more common in women taking oral contraceptives, especially in obese and older women, than in women not taking them.
The risk for heart disease and stroke among women with diabetes is two to four times higher than that for women without diabetes.
Forty-eight percent of Utah women are overweight or obese.
Symptoms of heart attack for women are more likely to include pain or discomfort in other areas of the body besides the chest, such one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. Nausea is more common too.
In Utah, approximately 46 percent more women than men die of strokes each year. When experiencing a stroke, women may be likely to report feeling sensations that aren't "traditional" stroke symptoms such as pain and changes in consciousness and disorientation.
The American Heart Association of Southeastern Utah urges women to do the following.
Love your heart. By loving their own heart, women can save it. When women learn to love their hearts, they can appreciate their health, their life and their loved ones. Women should contact their hearts and realize the importance of taking care of it by simply placing their hand over their heart, taking a deep breath and considering ways to love, honor and appreciate this vital organ every day. If a woman makes a promise to be heart-healthy and get a yearly checkup, heart disease can be wiped out.
Go Red in Your Own Fashion. Going red in their own fashion is about women and men finding their personal way to take part in the fight against heart disease. Whether it's visiting a health care provider, eating a healthier diet, increasing exercise, purchasing products that support the cause, or wearing red and a red dress pin on National Wear Red Day - people can take action to love their heart. The Red Dress symbol is a reminder of the strength women have to collectively fight heart disease.
Participating in National Wear Red Day. National Wear Red Day is Feb. 3. Millions of Americans will be wearing red to show their support for women and the fight against heart disease. In an effort to generate awareness and provide fundraising opportunities, 10,000 companies, over the past two years, have participated in Wear Red Day events by paying $5 to wear red and jeans to work. Additionally, cities across the country will go red by illuminating monuments and buildings in red. The whole month of February is American Heart Month. Residents of Carbon County should let red shine all month, or even all year long.
For more information about Go Red for Women or how to join the movement and stay healthy call 1-888-694-3278 or visit GoRedForWomen.org or the Utah Department of Health's www.hearthighway.org.