You might say red is quite a popular color around the office.
Feb. 1 is the 10th anniversary of National Wear Red Day — a day of bringing awareness to the No. 1 killer of women, heart disease.
This is all in support of the American Heart Association’s annual Go Red For Women campaign.
According to the organization’s website, 43 million women in the United States are affected by heart disease, yet only one in five believes that heart disease is her greatest health threat.
But with awareness campaigns like Go Red For Women, they estimated it’s saved more than 627,000 women so far from heart disease.
“We’re very excited that February is bringing some needed attention to a very critical problem, which is heart disease,” said Dr. Grayson Wheatley, cardiovascular surgeon at the Arizona Heart Institute in Phoenix. “It affects men and women both, [but] we’re starting to see that it affects maybe women a lot more frequently than what we had previously thought.”
The American Heart Association said that heart disease causes one in three deaths each year and that 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing the disease.
“One of the most important messages we want to get out to people is that if you do have heart disease, it doesn’t mean a severe problem, necessarily,” Wheatley said. “We have technology now to identify problems very early and sometimes if these are identified early, we can treat them or even treat patients with medicine that can prevent future problems.”
Some ways women can reduce the risk of heart trouble starts by making healthy lifestyle choices.
“We always encourage people to stop smoking and it doesn’t matter if you’ve been smoking one year or 30 years, stopping smoking is an important factor, ” Wheatley said. “Losing weight, exercising frequently and certainly watching your diet, low-cholesterol, low-fat diet, has [also] been shown to help that.”
Wheatley said while people with higher risk factors may screen their heart a lot earlier, usually around the age of 50 is when women should consider going in for a heart checkup.
So how can you get involved beyond National Wear Red Day?
Go Red For Women is asking America to take the Go Red Challenge for the month of February. This could be anything from wearing red to painting your community red.
Share your photos on their Facebook page.
For more information visit http://www.goredforwomen.org or to learn how to get involved with the Go Red Challenge check out http://www.goredforwomen.org/get-involved/national-wear-red-day/america-goes-red-challenge/