(WYTV) – Friday is National Wear Red Day — a day in which everyone is encouraged to wear red to bring awareness to heart disease in women. The day is part of American Heart Month.
Even as COVID-19 kills more and more people every day, heart disease is still the number one cause of death in both men and women. Heart disease claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined.
Research shows Ohio ranks 12th in the country for the highest rate of deaths from heart disease, killing about 28,000 people each year.
A lot of people think heart disease affects mostly men, but it impacts both genders just the same.
Heart disease affects one in three women. It kills one woman every 80 seconds.
“A lot of time, women are so busy caring for everyone else that they forget to stop and take the time to care for themselves. So just little things that they can do and little changes they can make to make themselves more heart-healthy can go a long way and can create a longer, healthier life for them,” said Jessica Doudrick, with the American Heart Association.
It doesn’t affect only one specific demographic either. In fact, it’s actually on the rise in women in their 20s.
According to the American Heart Association, about 45% of women 20 and older are living with some sort of heart disease. However, younger generations are less likely to be aware of the fact that heart disease is their greatest health threat.
The good news is 80% of heart disease is preventable.
Here are some numbers from the American Heart Association:
- Nearly 24,000 people have been diagnosed with heart disease, and that doesn’t include people who have it and don’t know it
- 29% of people have been diagnosed with high blood pressure
- 42% of people have been diagnosed with high cholesterol
- 36% of people are obese
- 20% of people smoke daily
Those four things — blood pressure, cholesterol, weight and smoking — can increase your risk for heart disease.
To prevent it, start by checking your blood pressure.
“If you do have the capability to have a blood pressure cuff in your home and can be taking your blood pressure, it takes two minutes and it’s something that can really help you stay heart-healthy,” Doudrick said. “If you take your blood pressure and those numbers are high, that’s a conversation you can have with your doctor.”
To help control blood pressure and cholesterol, the American Heart Association recommends getting a good night’s sleep, eating a healthy diet and exercising for at least 20 minutes a day.
JAC Management Group will be lighting up Youngstown’s Huntington Bank Community Alley red in honor of National Wear Red Day.
The American Heart Association hopes you’ll wear something red and post a picture on social media, using #TriCountyGoesRed or #MercerLawrenceGoesRed, depending on where you live.