Health and Mind: Go red for women’s heart health

Published 4:37 pm Tuesday, January 30, 2024

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By Cara O’Neill

Clark County Health Department

Go Red for Women was created by the American Heart Association to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a platform for change to improve women’s lives globally.

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The campaign is about all women committing to stand together, take charge of their heart health and encourage other women to do so by wearing red on Friday, Feb. 2nd, 2024!

Causes of heart disease

• Heart disease affects the blood vessels and cardiovascular system. Numerous problems can result from this, many of which are related to a process called atherosclerosis, a condition that develops when plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms, it can stop the blood flow. This can cause a heart attack or stroke.

Facts about heart disease in women

• Cardiovascular disease is the No. one killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. That’s approximately one woman every minute! 

• Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.

• Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease, and the gap between men and women’s survival continues to widen.

• The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women vs. men and are often misunderstood.

• While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease. 

Signs and symptoms of heart attack

• Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.

• Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

• Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

• Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

 As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

 If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away. 

Signs and symptoms of stroke

• Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

• Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

• Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes

• Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

• Sudden severe headache with no known cause

 If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away. 

Preventing heart disease

Although the information previously stated can seem bleak, there are ways to potentially prevent heart disease from occurring:

• Get your blood pressure under control

• Lower your cholesterol

• Know your family history

• Stay active

• Lose or manage your weight

• Eat healthy

• Don’t smoke

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Clark County Health Department provides programs for the entire family, including WIC, HANDS, family planning, immunizations, diabetes classes, and Freedom from Smoking. For more information on our services, please call 859-744-4482 or visit our website at