Women should increase their awareness of heart disease risk factors

Look for heart health information any time, but especially in February for American Heart Month.

Heart disease is not just a man’s disease and it’s never too late to start practicing lifestyle choices to prevent it. As the number one killer of women, they should be more aware of their risk factors for heart disease, regardless of age. February is American Heart Month and Friday, February 3 is National Wear Red Day to support the fight against heart disease in women. Cardiovascular disease affects one in every three females and is the number one killer of women. Each year 515,000 Michigan women are expected to have a heart attack, according to the 2012 Update from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.

The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign brings awareness to the issue of heart disease for women and encourages them to take charge of their health and understand their personal risk factors, many of which can be controlled or treated. Activities and events around the country are scheduled for Wear Red Day - check it out to get more involved. Or on a more personal level, take advantage of the opportunity to share your story or hear from others by participating in the Go Red Heart Match program.

Life’s Simple 7 ™  are heart health factors that everyone should be familiar with: get active, control cholesterol, eat better, manage blood pressure, lose weight, reduce blood sugar and stop smoking. Visit the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 site and take the My Life Check assessment to get a handle on your own personal heart health.

No one is too young or old to establish heart healthy habits. Starting in your 20’s the American Heart Association and Go Red for Women gives targeted prevention tips. In your 20’s take the time to assess your family history and learn the numbers important for heart health, like your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar values. Then as an older adult use the Heart360® program to track your health status online.

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