February is Heart Month and Friday, Feb. 1, is National Wear Red Day – a day when Americans nationwide will take women’s health to heart by wearing red to show their support for women’s heart disease awareness.
And the Greenwich Health Department has scheduled health screenings for local women that will be held at Greenwich Town Hall today, Feb. 1.
Participation in the national movement is being marked by wearing a favorite red dress, shirt, tie or Red Dress Pin on Friday, Feb. 1. By joining together, the community will help "put a face on heart disease" and motivate women to take heart health seriously and engage in action to reduce their risk of heart disease, says Caroline Calderone Baisley, the Greenwich Director of Health.
Baisley said, “Many women think heart disease is a man's disease. It isn't. Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women and most women fail to make the connections between heart disease risk factors and their personal risk of developing the disease.”
To support the need to take control of one’s health, staff nurses of the Division of Family Health will offer blood pressure screenings along with the Department’s Laboratory which will offer free total cholesterol screenings.
The screenings will be available on Friday, Feb. 1, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Greenwich Town Hall lobby. Red dress pins, information about risk factors for heart disease (high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, overweight/obesity, diabetes and lack of physical activity) and handouts about healthy nutrition also will be distributed. The public health nurses also will be available in the department’s hypertension clinic located on the third floor of Town Hall from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Coronary heart disease is the most common form of heart disease in the United States. Usually referred to as simply “heart disease,” it is a disorder of blood vessels of the heart that can lead to a heart attack. One in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, equal to 2,200 deaths per day. These conditions are also leading causes of disability preventing people from working and enjoying family activities.
A woman suffers a heart attack every 90 seconds in the United States. Knowing the signs and symptoms is crucial to ensure the most positive outcomes after having a heart attack. The warning signs for women can be different from those experienced by men. Many women who have a heart attack may not experience direct chest pain, but rather chest discomfort, which includes the feeling of pressure, squeezing or fullness. Although pain can occur in the chest, pain can also appear in the right arm, back, neck, shoulder or throat. Other symptoms might include vomiting, nausea, pressure, fatigue, shortness of breath, feeling cold, sweating, or lightheadedness. If you think you or someone else may be having a heart attack, act quickly to prevent disability or death and call 9-1-1.
Adapting a healthy diet and controlling disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol will give you valuable tools to fight heart disease. Women should talk to their doctors about these risk factors and make lifestyle changes when necessary to prevent disease.