MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – February is Heart Month, and Mon Health System employees are participating in activities to raise awareness of cardiac issues, especially in women. For more than a decade, Mon Health hospitals have participated in the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women initiative with employees wearing red on the first Friday in February, this year’s being on Friday, February 4, 2022.
“National Wear Red Day is an effort to spread awareness that one in three women are dying from cardiovascular disease and remains the leading killer of women in the U.S. according to the American Heart Association,” said Dr. Samantha Crites, Cardiologist at Mon Health Heart and Vascular Center. “It kills one woman approximately every 80 seconds, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined, and unfortunately, cardiac events are on the rise in women of all ages including women in their 20’s. It is through the Go Red campaign that we hope to raise awareness of heart disease among women of all ages.”
To provide a concise way to remember the steps everybody can take to help reduce their own chance of heart disease, heart attack, or stroke, the American Heart Association and the Go Red for Women campaign created a simple acronym to help, G.O. R.E.D.
- Get your numbers: Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose.
- Own your lifestyle: Stop smoking, lose weight, be physically active and eat healthily.
- Raise your voice: Advocate for more women’s health-related research and education.
- Educate your family: Make healthy food choices for you and your family. Teach your kids the importance of staying active.
- Donate: Support prevention work with a donation of time or money.
Nearly 80 percent of cardiac events are preventable, while cardiovascular disease continues to be the chief health risk for women. Therefore, it is imperative for women to become familiar with the warning signs and symptoms. It is also important and lifesaving for a person to take any warning signs seriously, and to ask for help.
“Women and men may often experience differing cardiac symptoms. A woman will exhibit more fatigue, shoulder aches and indigestion, while a man will likely experience chest pain,” said Kristi Gannon, RN, Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse Manager at Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital. “Some women will fail to acknowledge the seriousness of their symptoms which can be deadly. Exercise is so important and walking at least 30 minutes a day cuts your risk of heart disease in half. Mon Health offers a variety of programs to assist with cardiac conditions including cardiac rehabilitation and adult fitness. February is a good time to think about your heart health.”
To learn more about the Mon Health Heart and Vascular Center, visit MonHealth.com/Heart.