National Wear Red Day tomorrow

Heart disease is still often considered a disease of men. Ask the average joe on the street, and they’ll probably tell you that men die of heart attacks, and women die of breast cancer. Of course, this is incorrect. In fact, heart disease is the leading killer of women in America: 1 in 3 women dies of heart disease. To make women more aware of the danger of heart disease, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and partner organizations are sponsoring a national campaign called The Heart Truth. The campaign’s goal is to give women a personal and urgent wakeup call about their risk of heart disease.

You may have previously seen the “red dress” pins that go along with this awareness campaign, which has been fairly successful so far:

A 2005 survey from the American Heart Association shows that more women are getting the message that heart disease is the #1 killer of women. According to the survey, 55 percent of American women know that heart disease is their leading killer, up from 34 percent in 2000.

Of course, awareness is only the beginning. The ultimate goal is to make women more aware of their own heart disease risk, and to encourage them to modify their own risk factors:

The Heart Truth is that women don’t take their risk of heart disease seriously–or personally. Women often fail to make the connection between risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and their own chance of developing heart disease.

National Wear Red Day promotes the symbol and provides an opportunity for everyone to unite in this life-saving awareness movement.

Comments

  1. #1 Shawn
    February 2, 2007

    I support the cause, but couldn’t they have picked a different day than Groundhog Day?

  2. #2 Karen Ventii
    February 2, 2007

    Nice blog. Great entry. I just wrote about the same topic on my blog (ScienceToLife) I have a question: what exactly are the symptoms of heart attack in women? I’m sure they differ from men but I had a hard time finding that information. Any ideas?

  3. #3 Tara C. Smith
    February 2, 2007

    Hi Karen, and welcome to Scienceblogs! This article details some of the differences in womens’ heart attack symptoms:

    The women’s major symptoms prior to their heart attack included:

    Unusual fatigue – 70%
    Sleep disturbance – 48%
    Shortness of breath – 42%
    Indigestion – 39%
    Anxiety – 35%

    Major symptoms during the heart attack include:

    Shortness of breath – 58%
    Weakness – 55%
    Unusual fatigue – 43%
    Cold sweat – 39%
    Dizziness – 39%

    You can find more here as well.

  4. #4 outeast
    February 15, 2007

    Public awareness is not all there is to it, either. By total coincidence I was reading about the Yentl Syndrome the other day – perhaps this campaign will go some way towards alleviating this by educating doctors as well.

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