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By Aislinn Antrim, Associate Editor
Since 2004, the American Heart Association (AHA) has been aiming to increase heart health awareness for women around the world, to prevent cardiac events and to promote healthy lifestyle changes.
Since 2004, the American Heart Association (AHA) has been aiming to increase heart health awareness for women around the world, to prevent cardiac events and to promote healthy lifestyle changes, with the Go Red for Women initiative. Through the campaign, the AHA is encouraging people to wear red for women’s health on February 1, kicking off American Heart Month.
Cardiac diseases are the number 1 killer of women in the United States,
but they are also 1 of the most preventable—nearly 80% of cardiac events can be prevented through lifestyle change.
AHA officials encourage women to wear red, share heart health facts, and empower each other to take charge of their own heart health by adopting healthier habits, knowing the risks for cardiovascular diseases, and recognizing the symptoms of cardiac events, according to the campaign’s website.
Macy’s is partnering with the AHA to sponsor Go Red for Women this year. The department store chain has been supportive of the initiative since its inception, and has raised more than 69 million dollars to fund research and promote awareness.
“As the number 1 killer of women, this cause is near and dear to our hearts, affecting customers and colleagues in our local communities,” said Sam Harrison, Vice President of Giving and Volunteerism at Macy’s.
“By providing different ways for our customers to give back together we are helping women of all ages and backgrounds live longer, healthier lives.”
Throughout the month of February, customers will be invited to round up their purchase to the nearest dollar, with the extra change going to fund education, resources, and tools for women to improve their heart health through their Make Good Cents for Go Red for Women fundraiser. Macy’s will also be selling a limited-edition Calvin Klein red dress, with 10% of the purchase price going directly to the AHA.
CVS will also be working with the AHA to promote heart health this February. The pharmacy will be encouraging patients and customers to make a donation in support of heart health research throughout the month.
In addition, CVS is encouraging women to know their risk by staying on top of their personal health numbers. The 5 personal health numbers that can help patients determine their risk of cardiovascular are total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and body mass index. To help patients have easy and affordable access to these numbers, CVS will be offering free heart health screenings every Thursday in February, including Valentine’s Day, at over 1100 of their MinuteClinic locations.
Knowing the symptoms of cardiac events in women is crucial, as they can be different than symptoms seen in men, according to the AHA. The most common symptom for men and women is chest pain and discomfort, but women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, back pain, jaw pain, and lightheadedness. The most common sign of a stroke is a sudden numbness or weakness on one’s face, arm, or leg, but only on 1 side of the body. Stroke symptoms also include sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding, trouble seeing or blurred vision, dizziness or trouble walking, or a severe headache.
The Go Red For Women campaign's website offers resources for creating an exercise routine, eating healthier, and managing blood pressure. These are the best ways to protect your heart health, according to the AHA.
To join CVS, Macy’s, and the AHA in their efforts to promote women’s heart health awareness this month, be sure to wear red this Friday, February 1, in support of Go Red for Women.
This article was initally published onPharmacyTimes.com