Go Red for Women: Heart Facts

courtesy of American Heart Association

Our mothers, daughters, sisters and friends are at risk. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all cancers combined. Fortunately, 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes.

Get informed about the risks of heart disease and stroke; know the red flags and know your heart health story. Go Red For Women inspires women to make lifestyle changes, mobilize communities and shape policies to save lives. Together, we are working to improve the health of women in your community.

Take action at GoRedForWomen.org.

Here are a few ways to take action today:

• Visit GoRedForWomen.org to learn what you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

• Encourage your family and friends to take small steps toward healthy lifestyle choices to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke, too.

• Explain “What it means to Go Red” by sharing the following acronym:

– Get Your Numbers: Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose.
– Own Your Lifestyle: Stop smoking, lose weight, be physically active and eat healthy.
– Raise Your Voice: Advocate for more women-related research and education.
– Educate Your Family: Make healthy food choices for you and your family and teach your kids the importance of staying active.
– Donate: Show your support with a donation of time or money.

Cardiovascular Disease Facts

FACT 1: Cardiovascular diseases cause 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year in the U.S., killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds.

  • An estimated 44 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular diseases.
  • 90 precent of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke.
  • 80 percent of heart disease and stroke events can be prevented.

FACT 2: Scientific evidence proves heart disease is different in women as compared to men.

  • Fewer women than men survive their first heart attack.
  • The symptoms of heart attack can be different in women and are often misunderstood, even by some physicians.
  • Women have a higher lifetime risk of stroke than men.
  • Each year, about 55,000 more women than men have a stroke.

FACT 3: Heart disease and strokes affect women of all ethnicities. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death for African American women, killing nearly 50,000 annually.

  • Research shows that African Americans are more likely than Caucasians to experience sudden cardiac arrest at a much earlier age.
  • Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than Caucasian women.
  • Only 36 precent of African American women and 34 precent of Hispanic women know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, compared with 65 percent of Caucasian women.
  • Of African American women ages 20 and older, 48 percent have cardiovascular disease but only 14 percent believe heart disease is the greatest health problem facing women.
  • Only about 50 percent of African American women are aware that pain which spreads to the shoulders, neck or arms is a sign of heart attack.

FACT 4: Women who are involved with the Go Red For Women movement live healthier lives.

  • Nearly 90 percent have made at least one healthy behavior change.
  • Almost half have lost weight.
  • More than 50 percent participate in regular physical exercise.
  • 6 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-healthy plans.

FACT 5: When you get involved in supporting Go Red For Women by advocating, fundraising and sharing your story, more lives are saved.

  • More than 670,000 women have been saved from heart disease and stroke since the launch of GRFW.
  • About 300 fewer women are dying per day.

About Go Red for Women

Launched in 2004, Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Women who Go Red live healthier lives.

The 2018 Grand Rapids Go Red for Women Luncheon happens Feb. 21, at 20 Monroe Live. The event includes a a silent auction, health screenings and pampering. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in fitness apparel and sneakers to encourage women to #GoRedGetFit (wear red if you have it!).


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