February is American Heart Month - a time when the American Heart Association asks all Americans to try to implement at least one positive change to ensure a healthier heart. The association uses this month to be particularly vigilant about spreading awareness of heart disease and stroke risk and prevention locally and nationwide.
In addition, National Wear Red Day, traditionally the first Friday in February, will this year be observed Feb. 7. On this day, men and women are encouraged to wear red to support the fight against heart disease in women and to honor not only the survivors of heart disease but the memory of lives lost.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, killing more women than all forms of cancer combined.
The Go Red For Women movement has launched and this year has a local resident as one of the faces of its national campaign. Heart disease survivor Rosetta Carrington Lue is now a national spokesperson and the first woman from the Delaware Valley to be represented throughout the 2013-14 campaign.
Ninety percent of women have at least one risk factor for heart disease, but studies show that women who Go Red are more likely to make healthy choices. Nearly 90 percent have made at least one healthy behavior change. More than one-third have lost weight. More than 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.
Some of the activities taking place throughout Heart Month include Southern Delaware Go Red For Women Luncheon Feb. 7, contact: 302-286-5723; Better You Series - Heart Healthy Feb. 11, contact: Suzanne Marsh 302-259-6603; Christiana Care/National Coalition of 100 Black Women - Faces of Heart disease Feb. 15, contact: 302-327-3348; University of Delaware’s Women’s Health Initiative basketball game (Blue Hens v. Towson University Tigers) Feb. 16, contact: www.bluehens.com.
In just a little more than 10 years since the movement began, more than 627,000 women have been saved from heart disease, and 330 fewer women are dying per day. Visit heart.org/Delaware to join the fight.