Put Your Red Dress on Friday and Celebrate Life.

By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N

February is American Heart Month.  The American Heart Association (AHA) has designated Friday, February 4 as National Wear Red Day—part of Go Red For Women.

In 2004, AHA along with First Lady, Laura Bush, launched Go Red For Women, a campaign to alert women to the fact that heart disease is their number-one health threat. Now, many more know that heart disease is not only a man’s disease; indeed, it actually kills more women than men, almost 422,000 per year, about one per minute, more than the next four leading causes of death, including all forms of cancer, combined. Heart disease rates in post-menopausal women are 2 to 3 times higher than pre-menopausal women at the same age. African-American and Mexican-American women face a greater threat from heart disease than women of other races. In fact, 38% of women who have heart attacks die within a year compared to 25% of men. The research suggests 65% of women who died suddenly from coronary heart disease had NO previous symptoms.

This year’s Go Red For Women theme is “Make It Your Mission,” and urges you to “Tell 5.” The American Heart Association encourages everyone to tell five friends about the dangers of heart disease and stroke. By spreading the information to friends, who then spread the information to their friends, people move lifesaving information over a wide area and to those who need to hear it. (I am hoping this column will spread the word to lots of women and the people who love them, too!)

Each year, the AHA presents the Go Red for Women luncheon.  The luncheon is scheduled for May 19, 10:30 at KY International Convention Center. For more information about the luncheon visit Heart.org/LouisvilleKYGoRedLuncheon or call 502.371.6014.

Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N, is a registered dietitian who has been teaching healthy lifestyles strategies to consumers for over 35+ years.