In 2003, the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute took action against a disease that was claiming the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year – a disease that women weren’t paying attention to. A disease they truly believed, and many still believe to this day, affects more men than women.
Stemming from that action, National Wear Red Day was born. It’s held on the first Friday in February every year to raise awareness about heart disease being the No. 1 killer of women.
This coming National Wear Red Day, Feb. 1, 2013, marks our 10-year anniversary. And looking back on all we’ve accomplished, we’ve really made tremendous strides. They include:
- 21 percent fewer women dying from heart disease
- 23 percent more women aware that it’s their No. 1 health threat
- Publishing of gender-specific results, established differences in symptoms and responses to medications, and women-specific guidelines for prevention and treatment
- Legislation to help end gender disparities
But despite our progress, women are still dying. They’re still unaware of their risks and the facts. And now’s not the time for complacency. It’s time to stand stronger, speak louder and join us in the fight this National Wear Red Day.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women – mothers, sisters, daughters, friends – and is more deadly than all
forms of cancer combined.
- Heart disease causes one in three women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.
- An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease.
- Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
- Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease and the gap between men and women’s survival continues to widen.
- While one in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, heart disease causes one in three deaths each year.
Heart disease in women requires more attention, more research and swifter action.
- Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, yet only one in five American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat.
- Women comprise only 24 percent of participants in all heart-related studies.
- Women are less likely to call 9-1-1 for themselves when experiencing symptoms of a heart attack than they are for someone else.
The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement has been impacting the health of women for 10 years.
- More than 627,000 women have been saved from heart disease.
- 330 fewer women are dying per day.
Women who Go Red are more likely to make healthy choices.
- Nearly 90 percent have made at least one healthy behavior change.
- More than one-third have lost weight.
- More than 50 percent have increased their exercise.
- Six 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 health plans.