February is American Heart Month and Senior Lifestyle will celebrate the month by sharing information from The American Heart Association aimed at helping our residents, families and team members live longer, healthier lives.
Wearing bold colors like red can increase your confidence, raise your spirits and brighten your day, but did you know it can also help save your life? At Senior Lifestyle, we are celebrating National Wear Red Day and Go Red For Women. National Wear Red Day, February 2nd, is an initiative of the American Heart Association, aimed at raising awareness of heart disease, specifically in women. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women, with 1 in three deaths caused by the disease every year. It affects women differently than men, with different warning signs and symptoms, and even amongst women, the signs vary widely. The Go Red For Women movement advocates for better education and research for heart disease in women and aims to dispel the myths that surround heart disease in women.
Heart disease is often considered a condition that mostly strikes older men, but this is not your father’s heart disease. The myths surrounding heart disease in women are dangerous, as they can delay necessary life-saving treatment for women suffering a heart attack. The American Heart Association breaks down these common myths:
- Cancer is the real threat for women
While breast cancer causes one in 31 deaths in women yearly, heart disease is responsible for more deaths than all forms of cancer combined, and strikes more women than men, causing one out of every three deaths.
- I don’t have any symptoms of heart disease
Symptoms of coronary heart disease vary greatly between men and women. We think of the “classic” symptom of heart attack as extreme chest pain, and while that may happen, women are more likely to experience back or jaw pain, shortness of breath and nausea/vomiting. Other signs to look for include dizziness, fainting, extreme fatigue and pain in the upper abdomen or lower chest. Knowing what symptoms to look for and acting quickly when the symptoms are noted is key to surviving a heart attack.
- Heart disease is for old people
While the risk of heart disease does increase with age, heart disease in women can strike at any age. The risk of heart disease in younger women increases by 20 percent with the combination of smoking and using birth control pills. While a sedentary lifestyle and overeating can increase the risk as well, an underlying heart condition is also a risk factor. To reduce your risk, know your risk factors. If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a family history of heart disease, you can take steps to manage these risk factors.
Join Senior Lifestyle in observing healthy heart habits during American Heart Month and throughout the year! Join us for National Wear Red Day, educate yourself on heart disease in women, and speak to your doctor about managing your risk factors.