Tomorrow is National
Wear Red Day®, so break out your little red dress (or sweater
because, you know, it's February and a good portion of the country
is either buried under snow or is gearing up for the next snow
I've been writing about heart health for many years. One of my
first jobs as a health editor was for a newsletter that covered
cardiovascular health. When my sister suffered a stroke in her 40s
in 2008, and just over a year later my father died of a heart
attack, my interest in heart health grew to a dedication and
commitment to providing high-quality education and information
about heart disease.
The numbers remain sobering. One in three women dies of heart
disease and stroke each year despite the fact that 80 percent of
these deaths are preventable.
With that said, a great deal of progress has been made since the
first National Wear Red Day in 2003. According to the American Heart
Association, "today, nearly 300 fewer women die from heart
disease and stroke each day" and "death in women has decreased by
more than 30 percent over the past 10 years."
Much of this progress can be attributed programs dedicated to
decreasing cardiovascular disease risk factors among
I'd like to use this blog post to talk about one program in
particular: The WISEWOMAN
(Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for WOMen Across the
Nation) program. WISEWOMAN includes 21 programs funded by the
Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention in 19 states and two tribal organizations. These
programs provide "screening for heart disease and stroke risk
factors and lifestyle programs for low-income, uninsured, or
under-insured women aged 40 to 64 years."
WISEWOMAN helps shed light on the fact that nearly two-third or
women who die suddenly from coronary heart disease experience no
symptoms. It is important for women to remember that even if they
have no symptoms, they could still be at risk for heart
The program also works with community-based organizations to
provide evidence-based prevention services to women in need by
providing lifestyle coaching and has agreements with organizations
or groups such as the YMCA and
that help women maintain a healthy lifestyle. WISEWOMAN also aims
to help women improve management of hypertension by teaching them
how to self-monitor their blood pressure.
WISEWOMAN is just one of many programs around the country
working to address the critical issue of heart disease in women.
Stand with us tomorrow for Wear Red Day and help us and programs
like WISEWOMAN make a sustainable difference.