February is American Heart Month!
Swope Health Services will participate in National Wear Red Day on Friday, Feb. 2, in support of the campaign to raise awareness of how heart disease affects women.
Here are some facts about heart disease, stroke and women:
- Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. Every 80 seconds, a woman is killed by heart disease and stroke. That’s 1 in 3 deaths among women each year.
- Eighty percent of these deaths can be prevented with education and action – steps like managing blood pressure, controlling cholesterol, reducing blood sugar, being more active, eating better, losing weight and stopping smoking.
- Warning signs for women are not the same as in men. The most common symptom of heart attack in men and women is chest pain or discomfort. But women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and back or jaw pain as symptoms.
- Stroke disproportionally affects African-Americans. African-American women have almost two times the risk of stroke than Caucasians, and are more likely to die at an earlier age when compared to women of other ethnicities.
- Of African-American women age 20 or older, 49 percent have heart diseases. But only 1 in 5 African-American women will believe she is personally at risk.
“That’s why we love to see everyone to wearing red on Friday, Feb. 2,” said Bobby Mickens, SHS Director of Nursing. “We want everyone to take a moment to think about heart disease and learn about your own heart health. Especially women, who are less likely to be aware of their own risks for heart disease.”
Wearing red is a start, but please don’t stop there, she added.
“What’s the No. 1 thing you can do for yourself?” Bobby asks. “The answer: Schedule a physical exam.”
In this examination, she said, your provider will check your blood pressure, height and weight. There may be other screenings, like cholesterol and blood sugar levels, if you haven’t had those checked in a couple of years. Once you know your numbers, your provider can help you take steps to control your risks of heart disease.
Call us at 816-923-5800 to make an appointment.
Here are some key resources from the American Heart Association:
- Common myths about heart disease
- Facts, causes, risks and prevention of stroke
- Factors that increase your risk for heart disease
- Living with heart disease
See you in Red!