It is February: The American Heart and Go Red for Women Month!
February has just started with all its excitement and optimistic thoughts!! I would like to talk about some of the amazing initiatives, including American Heart Month and Go Red for Women initiatives, that are in place to inspire and encourage more of my colleagues, women and men equally, to step up and be proactive about women’s health and education!
- When was the first American Heart Month?
It was in February 1964, proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, and Congress subsequently requested the President to issue a proclamation designating February as American Heart Month annually.
- What is the Go Red for Women Initiative?
It is an initiative, launched in 2004, to end heart disease and stroke in women; by increasing awareness of these diseases in women and removing barriers women face to achieve a healthy life. Here is what GO RED means:
- G: GET YOUR NUMBERS
Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure and cholesterol.
- O: OWN YOUR LIFESTYLE
Stop smoking, lose weight, exercise, and eat healthy.
- R: REALIZE YOUR RISK
Know your risk; heart disease is responsible for 1 in every 5 female deaths .
- E: EDUCATE YOUR FAMILY
Make healthy food choices for you and your family.
- D: DON’T BE SILENT
Tell every woman you know that heart disease is our No. 1 killer .
- How about “Research Goes Red” initiative?
It is an initiative to increase women’s participation in scientific research. Both healthy women and those with acute or chronic diseases are encouraged to participate.
- What impact have these initiatives achieved?
The impact of these initiatives has been remarkable and quite impressive!! Here are some of their achievements:
- More than 25,000 women registered for the Research Goes Red initiative!
- Around 19 million women interact with Go Red through digital platforms annually.
- $600 million raised to support research, education, advocacy, prevention and awareness programs.
Seeing the impact of these initiatives, I am hopeful not only that these initiatives continue to include and support more women, but also I am optimistic that more initiatives are launched to: (1) increase awareness of different heart diseases in women, (2) empower women to know the differences in the clinical presentations of different diseases, (3) implement strategies to avoid health care disparities based on gender and race, and (4) help more women and minorities access health care, not only across the nation but also across the globe.
- Women and Heart Disease: CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/women.htm
“The views, opinions and positions expressed within this blog are those of the author(s) alone and do not represent those of the American Heart Association. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them. The Early Career Voice blog is not intended to provide medical advice or treatment. Only your healthcare provider can provide that. The American Heart Association recommends that you consult your healthcare provider regarding your personal health matters. If you think you are having a heart attack, stroke or another emergency, please call 911 immediately.”
Lina Ya’qoub, MD, cardiovascular disease fellow at Ochsner-Louisiana State University, she is passionate about cardiovascular science, complex coronary interventions and structural heart disease. @yaqoub_lina