NATIONAL WEAR RED DAY : MAKE A LIFE-SAVING FASHION STATEMENT BY WEARING RED
National Wear Red Day For Women is a massive national public awareness day the first Friday each February, urging women, people from all walks of life, businesses, towns, schools, the media, buildings and landmarks to “go red” and “glow red” to bring attention to the leading killers of women – heart disease and stroke. Chances are we all know someone affected by heart disease and stroke, because about 2200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day. That’s in average of one death every forty seconds. For me, it was my father. My Dad had heart disease, hypertension and type 2 diabetes. He died at the age of 58. Today, Americans all over will wear red to bring awareness of this disease as a silent killer in women. As I get older I realize that I am not superwoman! As a busy businesswoman it is easy for many of us to take our health and put it on the back burner, I do it all the time! As I build this business I remind myself that working hard to take care of my family begins with my health.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the U.S., according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC reports that 289,758 women were killed in 2013 from heart disease, making up one in four of all female deaths that year.The CDC notes that the same number of women and men die on average each year. It is the leading cause of death for both African American and white women in the U.C. and 64 percent of all women who die from heart disease showed no previous symptoms.
The most influential risk factor for cardiovascular disease is age – the older you are, the greater your risk. The second is your genetic make-up. Although everyone is excited by the scientific progress in genomics research, conclusive gene tests are still in their infancy. But, as I tell our medical students, “A good family history is a poor man’s gene test.” We have long known that if your parents, grandparents, or other relatives were afflicted with or died of heart disease, diabetes or stroke, your risk is much greater.
High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans (47%) have at least one of these three risk factors. Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including:
Overweight and obesity
Excessive alcohol use
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Take a loved on to the doctor. Take A Loved One to the Doctor; (TALOTTD) is a targeted campaign to raise health awareness in the Black community. This initiative launched in 2002 between the Tom Joyner Morning Show (TJMS) and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Administration. Since then, Tom continues to encourage his listeners to be proactive about their health by making appointments for themselves and a loved one to visit health professionals.Due to overwhelming demand, TALOTTD grew from one day into a year-long health awareness campaign. It now occurs from January-December 2012 on “Get Well Wednesdays” with the Tom Joyner Morning Show (TJMS) featuring health topics and expert advice on-air supported by resourceful health information on-line at http://drday.blackamericaweb.com/ to further generate awareness and action.
Have your cholesterol checked. Your health care provider should test your cholesterol levels at least once every five years. Talk with your doctor about this simple blood test.
Monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure has no symptoms, so be sure to have it checked on a regular basis.
Manage your diabetes. If you have diabetes, closely monitor your blood sugar levels. Talk with your health care provider about treatment options.
Talk with your health care provider. You and your doctor can work together to prevent or treat the medical conditions that lead to heart disease. Discuss your treatment plan regularly and bring a list of questions to your appointments.