How You Can Support Women’s Heart Health and the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Movement During American Heart Month
Your mother. Your sister. Your friend. Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1-in-3 deaths each year. This startling statistic hits home for me, as I lost my mother to heart disease in 1990 when I was only 15 years old.
Because of this, the fight against heart disease in women is very personal to me. That is why I am proud to serve as a Digital Content and Social Media Ambassador for the American Heart Association’s St. Louis and Midwest regions for the sixth consecutive year, working to drive awareness of the importance of heart health and the fight against heart disease in women to live healthier, stronger and longer lives.
The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, and its signature movement, Go Red for Women, nationally sponsored by CVS Health, are rallying women to take action throughout American Heart Month in February against their number 1 killer – cardiovascular disease. The movement harnesses the energy, passion and power of women to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges them to know their risk for heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk. It also gives them tools they need to lead a heart healthy life.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among women and claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined with disparities in care continuing to persist:1
- Cardiovascular disease can be different in women than in men, and women may experience different signs or symptoms than men.2
- Women continue to be underrepresented in research and experience inequities in care including longer wait times for treatment.3
- Women make up less than half of all clinical trial participants globally with women of color only accounting for 3%.4
- Biological differences5 between men and women often are not adequately accounted for in clinical trials6 and other studies which provide the foundation to treat cardiovascular disease.
- Research shows that women are potentially more likely to survive a heart attack if their doctor is female,7 yet in today’s workforce women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields by 25%.8
“This February, women must stand together, show support and demand to be represented equally in cardiovascular disease research and care,” said Brown. “We’re continuing to forge news paths and inspire younger generations of women to create health solutions for women.”
Last night, Feb. 5, 2020, American Heart Month kicked off with the entertainment industry showing its support for the cause at the annual Go Red for Women Red Dress Collection®. The event, featuring performances by Meghan Trainor and Shania Twain, brought together dozens of stars and pop culture icons, who hit the catwalk to shine a light on heart disease in women.
Founded by The Heart Truth® program at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, the Red Dress Collection serves as the Association’s Go Red for Women national marquee event aimed at increasing awareness of heart disease and stroke globally and uniting women as a relentless force to end it.
Below are some of the highlights of the informative, festive, and fun evening.
Women, and those who love them, can show their support by wearing red on National Wear Red Day® this Friday, Feb. 7, 2020 to raise awareness among women about heart disease and stroke. You can make a donation to support Go Red for Women at WearRedDay.org or at your local CVS Pharmacy on Feb. 7, 2020. Share photos on social media using the hastags #GoRedForWomen, #HeartMonth, and #WearRedDay.
Additionally, you can support women’s heart health and the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement during American Heart Month in the following ways:
Make a Donation
CVS Pharmacies will be accepting donations for the Go Red for Women movement throughout the month of February. Customers can make a $1, $3 or larger donation to help in the fight against heart disease and stroke at the register at CVS Pharmacy stores nationwide or online at cvshealth.com/GoRed, Feb. 2-22, 2020.Join the social media conversation by using #WearRedAndGive.
No-cost heart health screenings at MinuteClinic®
To help women better understand their risk for heart disease, CVS Health is offering no-cost heart-health screenings nationwide select Thursdays in February at MinuteClinic®, the company’s retail medical clinic. Patients can visit the 1,100 MinuteClinic locations to receive a no-cost “Know Your Numbers” heart health screening on the first three Thursdays of February. During the screenings, patients will learn five key personal health numbers that can help them determine their risk for heart disease: total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index.
Join Research Goes Red
With female-centric research a critical need, the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women® and Verily’s Project Baseline joined forces on the initiative, Research Goes Red, to empower women to participate in research and clinical trials to move science ahead.
“Powering the future of women’s heart and brain health is imperative to the work we do at the American Heart Association and to the mission of Go Red for Women,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association. “With 1 in 3 women dying of cardiovascular disease, we must ensure women are equitably represented in research.”
Now in its 16th year, Go Red for Women encourages awareness of heart disease and stroke, working in communities around the world to help women understand that cardiovascular disease is their greatest health threat and empowers them to take action to lower their risk. The movement encourages women starting at age 20 to get screened for heart disease and stroke and to know their numbers to determine personal risk, the five key personal health numbers that help determine heart disease risk: total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index. By making a healthy lifestyle a priority and moving more, eating smart, not smoking and managing blood pressure certain cardiac events can be prevented by 80%9.
The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Movement will continue to help women take charge of their health, demand equal access to healthcare for all women and increase the number of women in STEM careers.
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities, fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. I am honored to be a part of something bigger than myself not only to honor my mother’s legacy, but to also work to reduce the rates of death from heart disease in women worldwide.
heart health month
I am proud to be a Go Red Blogger/Influencer Ambassador for the American Heart Association, using social media to drive awareness of the fight against heart disease in women in order to live healthier, stronger and longer lives.