In the past, heart disease and heart attack have been predominantly associated with men, specifically older men. Historically, men have been the subjects of research done to understand heart disease and stroke, which has been the basis for treatment guidelines and programs. This has led to an oversimplified, distorted view of heart disease and risk. Because women were largely ignored as a specific group, there was limited awareness of their risk of this often-preventable disease. Only 55 percent of women realize heart disease is their No. 1 killer and less than half know what are considered healthy levels for cardiovascular risk factors like blood pressure and cholesterol.
To raise awareness of heart disease & stroke as the number one killer of women, the American Heart Association created Go Red For Women, a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health, so they can take action to protect their health. In 2003, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) introduced the red dress as a national symbol for women and heart disease awareness, and the AHA adopted this symbol to create synergy among all organizations committed to fighting this cause. By working together to advance this important cause, the AHA, NHLBI and other women’s health groups will have a greater impact than any one group could have alone.
The Go Red For Women movement helps women by offering educational programs, advancing women’s understanding about their risk for heart disease, and providing tools and motivation to help women reduce their risk to protect their health. For example, the Go Red Heart CheckUp has engaged more than 2 million women to learn their risk of heart disease.
Based on the AHA’s research, a woman who “Goes Red”:
- Follows an exercise routine
- Eats healthier diet
- Visits her doctor for important tests
- And influences others by talking about heart health.
Funds raised by Go Red For Women activities also support research to discover scientific knowledge about heart health. This is turned into materials and tools that healthcare providers and decision- makers can use to help women. Healthcare providers receive the most up-to-date strategies and treatments tailored to a woman’s individual risk. Toolkits, pocket versions of guidelines for women, special reports, and continuing medical education give healthcare providers the tools to ensure that women are being treated according to the guidelines. More than 200,000 healthcare provider offices have received Go Red For Women educational tools to use with patients.
Talk to your healthcare provider today to learn about your Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar and BMI (Body Mass Index). Your heart depends on it.
For more information visit https://www.goredforwomen.org/know-your-numbers/.