Participants at the Union Springs Nutrition Center were asked to wear red on Friday, February 7, 2020 by the Center Manager, Terri Bean. This group posed for a photo to emphasize the "Go Red for Women" movement in the battle with heart disease and heart attacks in women. (Photo by Faye Gaston)

Participants at the Union Springs Nutrition Center were asked to wear red on Friday, February 7, 2020 by the Center Manager, Terri Bean. This group posed for a photo to emphasize the "Go Red for Women" movement in the battle with heart disease and heart attacks in women. (Photo by Faye Gaston)

By Faye Gaston

On Friday, February 7, 2020, many participants at the Union Springs Nutrition Center wore red at the request of the Center Manager, Terri Bean.

She was given material from Gloria Glaze, Community Health Educator, to share with the senior citizens. Faye Gaston presented a summary to them of the material as follows.

Heart disease claims lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year. Only 55% of women realize that heart disease is their Number 1 killer. The American Heart Association (AHA) created "Go Red for Women" that is designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health and to reduce personal risk for heart disease. This action will save more lives.

In 2003, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the American Heart Association (AHA) and other organizations joined together to raise awareness of heart disease in women.

The NHLBI introduced the red dress as a national symbol for women and heart disease.

The AHA adopted this symbol among all organizations to fight heart disease. The AHA uses funds from the "Go Red for Women" activities in this fight against heart disease. Less than half of women know the healthy levels for risk factors like blood pressure and cholesterol.

Based on research, women should follow an exercise routine, eat a healthier diet, visit her doctor for important tests, and influence others by talking about heart health.

The Go Red Heart Check-up has engaged more than 2 million women to learn their risks of heart disease.

In the last 12 months, 91% of women involved in Go Red visited doctors, 90% had blood pressure checked and 75% had cholesterol checked.

Why do "Go Red for Women" and other red dress campaigns target women instead of "men and women"?

It is because women have been largely ignored about heart disease. In the past, heart disease and heart attacks have been predominantly associated with men.

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