On Friday, February 3, women and men wear red as a show of support for the American Heart Association and women’s heart health. In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared February National Heart Health Month, but it wasn’t until 2002 that the little red dress became a symbol of support for women’s heart health. National Wear Red Day officially began in 2004 to raise awareness about heart disease in women and to inspire people to adopt healthier habits. This year, the LaunchPM team is proudly dressing in red to draw attention to women’s heart health and the risks.
As a woman-owned company that works closely with the healthcare industry, we believe it is important for us to do our part in helping to raise awareness. In this blog, we’ve outlined valuable information to help educate others on the risks of heart disease and steps to prevention.
What is heart disease?
We all hear about heart disease and many of us know someone that’s had a heart attack or some other heart issue, but many still don’t fully understand what it means to have heart disease. Heart disease or coronary disease can include a hardening of the arteries that can cause a blockage and lead to a heart attack or stroke; congestive heart failure; endocarditis; heart arrhythmia or other congenital heart issues. It’s often thought of as a disease primarily impacting men, but women at nearly the same rate. In the U.S., heart disease is the leading cause of death for women.
According to the statistics on heart disease from the CDC , the threat to health and the potential for causing death is alarming:
- One person dies from cardiovascular disease every 34 seconds
- Approximately 697,000 people died of heart disease in 2020- that’s 1 in every 5 deaths in the U.S. and 45% were women.
- About 1 in 16 women aged 20 and older (6.2%) suffer from the most common type of heart disease, coronary heart disease.
Prevention and Symptoms of Heart Disease
While the threat to health is serious, there is good news. The Heart Foundation states that while heart disease is taking the lives of many Americans every year, it is also one of the most preventable.
The FDA offers 4 valuable prevention tips to adopt:
- Eat a heart healthy diet
Making some simple changes to your diet can help protect your heart health. Limit processed and packaged foods that tend to be high in sodium and trans fat. A heavy intake of high sodium foods and trans fat are linked to heart attacks. It is also important to cut or limit sugar. Sugar is a contributing factor to obesity and inflammation that can both impact heart health.
- Manage health conditions
Those diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or diabetes are at an increased risk of heart disease. Working with your health provider on managing any of these health conditions will minimize your risk of developing heart disease.
- Add daily dose of aspirin
Taking aspirin daily is a common method for heart attack or stroke prevention. While it can be good for many, it is not safe for everyone. Before adding a dose of aspirin to your daily habits, discuss it with your health care provider to ensure it is safe for you.
- Know the signs of a heart attack
- Sharp pain in upper body
- Discomfort or ache in chest or back between shoulder blades
- Shortness of breath
- Breaking out in a cold sweat
- Unusual or unexplained tiredness
- Dizziness or lightheaded
Recognizing the signs of a heart attack and understanding the steps that can be taken for prevention are critical to minimizing the effects and saving lives. If you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack, call 911 immediately.
Commitment to Community
One of the core values at LaunchPM is support for our community. Participating in National Wear Red Day is just one more way to show we care. Raising awareness about women’s heart health is important and when we join together dressed in red, we can make a bigger impact. We encourage others to join us, to seek opportunities to learn more and to begin taking steps to adopt healthier living habits.
LaunchPM frequently works with companies in the nonprofit, healthcare, education and manufacturing sectors, providing our expertise in construction project management. If you would like to learn more about our services, contact us.