Did you know that heart disease is the #1 killer of women? It is. Heart disease is the cause of one in three women’s deaths each year. It takes the lives of more women than all forms of cancer combined. When we break it down, we find that heart disease takes one woman every minuteWhat makes this statistic even more unacceptable is that we have the potential to change it!
Friday, Feb. 3, is National Go Red Day, and it’s the 15th year for this health observance. Here are some changes women have accomplished over those years:
- Nearly 90 percent of women have made at least one healthy behavior change
- More than one-third of women have lost weight
- More than 50 percent of women have increased their exercise
- Six out of 10 women have changed their diets
- More than 40 percent of women have checked their cholesterol levels
- One third of women have talked with their doctors about developing heart health plans
- Today, nearly 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke each day* ** Death in women has decreased by more than 30 percent over the past 10 years**
Yes, we can change the statistics, but how do we do it? Here are three solid methods to change those statistics and avoid becoming one of them:
Work with our doctor as treatment partners, with them making decisions** with** us, not** for** us. This means realizing that we — not our doctors — are ultimately responsible for our health, and taking responsibility for everything we can do to improve and maintain good health.
Know our numbers. There are four numbers that we need to know, and work with our doctors to control:
glucose (blood sugar) level
body mass index (BMI)
Even if we’re feeling fine, keeping up with women’s preventative doctor visits are still important for overall wellness.
Here are some interesting and informative videos about knowing our numbers and well woman visits:
As a heart attack survivor, it’s become important to me to reach out to other women — to share the good news that working with our doctors can help us not become one of the statistics — that we’re worth it. I’m worth it. Every woman who reads this is worth it.
I so hope that you’ll join me as one of my heart health sisters, determined to change those horrid statistics above. Please, get together with your doctor and find out what you can do to protect yourself. And, please, share this information with other women. Learn the truth about the myths about heart disease in women. While you’re at it, please wear red on Friday, Feb. 3 to show our solidarity. Let’s Go Red!
Know Your Numbers? GoRedForWomen.org.
Behind National Wear Read Day GoRedForWomen.org
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Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate and the author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches. A co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association, she received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society. Teri can be found on her website, and blog, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.