goredFebruary marks the fiftieth anniversary of American Heart Month and the Metro Jackson American Heart Association is urging residents to learn more about how they can prevent America’s and Mississippi’s number one killer. They’re specifically recognizing women in the fight – against heart disease.

National Wear Red Day is Friday, February 7, 2014 and it serves as a day to bring attention to the silent killer of women, heart disease. The Metro Jackson American Heart Association encourages everyone to wear red, raise their voices, know their cardiovascular risk and take action to live longer, healthier lives.

Since the first National Wear Red Day in 2003, tremendous strides have been made in the fight against heart disease in women. Through research and education to healthy lifestyle changes, the American Heart Association reports that 34% fewer women now die from heart disease, saving 330 lives every day.

The American Heart Association (AHA) says they faced an uphill battle in 2004. Cardiovascular disease claimed the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year, yet women were not paying attention. In fact, many even dismissed it as an older man’s disease. To dispel the myths and raise awareness of heart disease as the number one killer of women, Go Red For Women was born.

The movement harnesses the energy, passion and power women have to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges them to know their risk for heart disease and take action. It also gives them the tools they need to lead a heart healthy life.

Heart disease kills one in four people every year. The statistic is even higher for women with heart disease claiming the lives of one in every three women, killing more women than all forms of cancer combined.

Last week President Obama issued the annual Presidential Proclamation declaring February as American Heart Month. President Obama wrote, “While anyone can develop heart disease, those with high blood pressure or high cholesterol and those who smoke are at greater risk. Risk factors like diabetes, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use can also increase the likelihood of developing heart disease. By adopting a few healthy habits — getting regular exercise; not smoking; eating diets rich in fruits and vegetables and low in salt, saturated fat, and cholesterol — each of us can reduce our risk.”

The American Heart Association seeks not only to bring awareness to this alarming issue, but also to bring awareness to the fact that heart disease is preventable and controllable.

Visit www.GoRedforWomen.org/WearRedDay to learn more about National Wear Red Day and how you, your family, workplace, church or civic group can Go Red for Women on February 7, 2014. Download the free planning guide at: https://www.goredforwomen.org/wearredday/resources/.