February is American Heart Month
Why Go Red?
- Heart disease is the number one killer of Latinas
- On average, Latinas are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than non-Latino white women
- Only 1 in 3 Latinas is aware that heart disease is their number one killer
- Only 44 percent of Latinas know that heart disease is their greatest health risk, compared with 60 percent of white women
- Just 3 in 10 Latinas say that they have been informed by their doctor that they are at a higher risk
The bilingual Go Red Por Tu Corazón initiative advances the Go Red for Women movement among Latinas, who are at high risk for heart disease at a younger age than other women. Go Red celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.
It all began when the American Heart Association (AHA), along with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, created National Wear Red Day® in 2003 to raise awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of women. At that time, cardiovascular diseases claimed the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year, yet no one was paying attention. Now, each year on the first Friday in February, millions of women and men come together to wear red, take action and commit to fighting this deadly disease.
But fighting heart disease is an ongoing challenge that demands public awareness year round. So, one year later, the AHA launched Go Red for Women – a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health and band together to work collectively to wipe out heart disease. Go Red and Go Red por tu Corazón challenge women to know their risk for heart disease and provide tools so that they can take action to reduce personal risk.
Over the past ten years, tremendous strides have been made in the fight against heart disease in women, including:
- 21 percent fewer women are dying from heart disease;
- 23 percent more women are aware that it’s their primary health threat;
- more than one-third have lost weight;
- nearly 50 percent have increased their exercise;
- six out of 10 have changed their diets;
- more than 40 percent have checked their cholesterol levels;
- one-third have talked with their doctors about developing heart health plans.
But the fight never ends as hundreds of thousands of women still die each year. Currently, some eight million women in the U.S. are living with heart disease, yet only one in six American women believes that heart disease is her greatest health threat.
Heart disease can be prevented. In fact, 80 percent of cardiac events in women are linked to poor choices, particularly those involving diet, physical activity and smoking. Women must make the right choices to change this statistic.
It is time to stand stronger, speak louder and join the Go Red movement. Connect with Go Red por tu Corazón on-line at goredcorazon.org, or call the American Heart Association’s Phoenix Division at 602-414-5353.
Funds raised by Go Red for Women allow the American Heart Association to help women by offering educational programs, increase women’s understanding about their risk for heart disease and support research to discover scientific knowledge about heart health. The AHA turns science into materials and tools that health care providers and decision-makers can use to help women. These include scientific guidelines on women and the most up-to-date strategies and treatments tailored to a woman’s individual risk.
Go Red for Women and Go Red por tu Corazón are nationally sponsored by Macy’s
© 2011, American Heart Association (also known as the Heart Fund)
Go Red is a trademark of the AHA; Red Dress is a trademark of the DHHS
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