Go red for women this month

By Pat Brinkman - OSU Extension

February is Heart Month sponsored by The American Heart Association. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US.

In fact, heart disease claims nearly 500,000 deaths among women each year. Most people believed that it affects more men, so many women did not pay much attention to the disease. Go Red for Women was started to raise awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of women. I encourage everyone to wear red on Feb. 7. Go Red for Women has been encouraging people to wear red on the first Friday of February for 15 years.

Since raising awareness many women have been making changes in their lives to be more heart conscience. Some of the strides they’ve made have included losing weight, increasing their exercise, making a healthy behavior change and checking cholesterol levels. Today, nearly 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke each day, and deaths in women have decreased by more than 30 percent over the past 10 years! Even though all of this progress has been made, 1 in 3 women still die of heart disease and stroke each year.

Wear Red on the 7th but also check your risk by knowing your heart healthy numbers. Talk to your doctor if they are above what they should be and get help in reducing your risk.

– Risk factors you can* and cannot control

1. High blood pressure*

2. Diabetes*

3. Lack of regular activity*

4. Age

5. Gender

6. Heredity

– Know your numbers

1. Total cholesterol

2. HDL cholesterol

3. Blood Pressure

4. Blood Sugar

5. Body Mass Index

– Take Action

1. Manage blood pressure

2. Control cholesterol

3. Manage blood sugar

4. Get active

5. Eat better

6. Lose weight

7. Stop smoking

If you would like to find out more information on each of the areas above, you can visit GoRedforWomen.org The website provides information through a risk factors quiz and warning signs of a heart attack and stroke. (Adapted from Livehealthy.osu.edu article by A. Bohlen)

Pat Brinkman is the Family and Consumer Sciences Educator for Ohio State University Extension Fayette County.


By Pat Brinkman

OSU Extension