Are You Wearing Red Today?

starr-jones-go-red-432

Are you wearing red today?

February 1st begins the month long campaign called “Go Red for Women. “ Each year the American Heart Association encourage men and women all over the country to wear red to raise awareness about heart disease in women.

Started n 2003, the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute took action against a disease that was the number one killer of women in America. And it wasn’t cancer- it’s heart disease. Long thought of as a disease of men, the enormous impact of heart disease in women had been largely ignored. Women have been unaware of their risks and how the classic symptoms of heart attacks may be different in women.

Over the past 10 years, the movement has made tremendous strides, including

  • 21 percent fewer women dying from heart disease
  • 23 percent more women aware that it’s their No. 1 health threat
  • Publishing of gender-specific results, established differences in symptoms and responses to medications, and women-specific guidelines for prevention and treatment
  • Legislation to help end gender disparities

This year, Star Jones, attorney, author and TV personality, is speaking out on behalf of the the movement. Jones underwent open heart surgery in 2010 after finding fluid around her heart. This was related to rarely-performed surgery she had three decades earlier, after developing a tumor in her chest. She wrote an article in Huffington Post to encourage others to learn about heart disease in women:

National Wear Red Day is February 1. But I wear red every day in February because it is that important. When I see my fellow heart sisters dressed in red, I see women rallying together against this killer.

This video (below) was produced by (and starring) actress Elizabeth Banks ( “The Hunger Games”, “30 Rock”), as a reminder that a heart attack can happen to anyone.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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