Love Your Heart While Caring for Your Migraines
Over the last few years, we've learned a great deal about Migraine disease and comorbid conditions. Comorbid conditions exist simultaneously with and usually independently of other medical conditions. In other words, you can have two or more conditions at the same time, but none of them cause the others. Research has shown that there is
- increased risk of cardiovascular disease in women over 45 with Migraine with aura.
- an association between Migraine and risk of major cardiovascular disease in men.
- increased risk of stroke in Migraineurs of both genders.
Consider these statistics:
- Only 13 percent of women view heart disease as a health threat, even though it’s women’s No. 1 killer.
- Cardiovascular disease (CVD) kills nearly half a million women a year, about one per minute.
- One in four females and one in four males in the United States suffers from a form of CVD.
- CVD claims more lives than the next six most common causes of death combined.
- On average, an American dies of CVD every 35 seconds.
- Coronary heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women over age 25.
- Sixty-four percent of women who died suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms.
- One in 2.6 female deaths are from DVC, compared with one in 30 from breast cancer.
- Heart disease rates in post-menopausal women are two to three times higher than in pre-menopausal women of the same age.
- Stroke is the No. 3 cause of death for American women, and is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability.
- Stroke kills more women than men. In 2003, females represented 61 percent of stroke deaths.
Go Red For Women began in February, 2004, as an initiative to raise awareness that heart disease is women’s No. 1 killer. The grassroots campaign has since grown into a vibrant national movement as more women, men, celebrities, healthcare providers and politicians embrace and elevate the cause of women and heart disease.
The campaign provides women with tips and information on healthy eating, exercise, and risk factor reduction, such as smoking cessation, weight maintenance, blood pressure control and blood cholesterol management. Alice Jacobs, M.D., president of the American Heart Association, in a press release issued January 5 (2005), stated:
"Last year, we discovered an alarming fact — that women still don’t know heart disease is their No. 1 killer. “In fact, more women still believe that cancer is the greatest health problem facing them today. Go Red For Women is beginning to change that.”
National Wear Red Day isn't just for women. It's also for all men who care about women. Here's how and why you can participate in National Wear Red Day:
What To Wear
National Wear Red Day for Women has its own dress code. Wear your favorite red clothes or accessory—a red blouse, a red dress pin, a fabulous red handbag —put on red lipstick, or sport a red tie and red socks. Go red in your own fashion to show your support for women and the fight against heart disease. Join us, men! Red is a great color for you too.
Why You Should Participate
Too few people realize that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women (and men), but the good news is heart disease largely can be prevented. Spreading the Go Red For Women message, Love Your Heart, raises awareness of heart disease and empowers women to reduce their risk.
Wear Red To Work
Companies can offer an additional incentive for employees to participate by allowing them to wear red and jeans to work on Wear Red Day in exchange for a $5 donation to the American Heart Association.
Participate in Wear Red Day
Encourage everyone in your organization to wear red on Wear Red Day and share the tools and information they need to protect themselves and their loved ones. For information on how your company can participate in Wear Red Day, contact your local American Heart Association or call 1-888-MY HEART.
Plan Now for Next Year's Wear Red Day
Put together a group of people now to plan next year's Wear Red Day and appropriate activities such as:
- A heart-healthy luncheon.
- A special heart health walk.
- Special rewards for creatively wearing red.
- A fund drive for the American Heart Association.
- A membership drive for the Go for Red movement. By joining the Go Red For Women movement, you become an important part of the fight against heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women in America. Your involvement is just one more step toward lowering the prevalence of the disease among mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters, grandmothers, best friends, and other women just like you! Joining is free, and you’ll gain access to valuable heart-health information, tips and tools, programs and special discounts. To join or for more information, click HERE.
- Use your imagination...
As you go about your normal activities, please take some time to stop, think, and Love your heart!
The American Heart Association
Go Red for Women
Kurth, Tobias, MD, ScD; Gaziano, J. Michael, MD, MPH; Cook, Nancy R., ScD; Logroscino, Giancarlo, MD, PhD;Diener, Hans-Christoph, MD, PhD; Buring, Julie E., ScD. (2006) "Migraine and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Women." JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association. 2006;296:283-291.
Kurth, Tobias, MD, ScD; Gaziano, J. Michael, MD, MPH; Cook, Nancy R., ScD; Bubes, Vadim, PhD; Logroscino, Giancarlo, MD, PhD; Diener, Hans-Christoph, MD, PhD; Buring, Julie E., ScD. (2006) "Migraine is Associated with Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Men." Platform presentation. American Heart Association Scientific Session. November 15, 2006, Chicago, Illinois.
© Teri Robert, 2007.