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Campaign Spotlights Women's Top Killer: Heart Disease

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Thursday, February 4, 2021   

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Heart disease is women's number one health threat, and the American Heart Association is raising awareness of the alarming fact with its DC Go Red campaign.

The program encourages women in Washington, D.C. and Virginia to take an active role in their health, as well as that of those they love.

Jill Feldon, vice president of strategy communications for Kaiser Permanente, which is co-sponsoring the Greater Washington campaign, said too many women, particularly young women of color, are unaware of the dangers of cardiovascular disease, which kills one in three Black and Caucasian women in the nation.

She thinks the campaign is timely because heart disease has killed more people in 2020 than COVID-19.

"The pandemic has created a lot of stress for people, which has an impact on people's heart health," Feldon explained. "So it's really important to get the message out about keeping your heart healthy, what you can do to prevent cardiovascular disease, and to definitely talk to your doctor about any hard questions that you may have."

National Wear Red Day on Friday, part of the Association's February Heart Month focus, also asks folks to wear red and download resources to help eradicate heart disease and stroke. For more information and to make donations, go to DCGoRed.Heart.org.

Feldon noted some ways women can stay heart healthy are to pay attention to risk factors in their cholesterol, blood sugar and weight numbers. They should also talk to their doctors about any family history of cardiovascular disease.

"A second thing you can do is certainly make healthy lifestyle choices, move more, eat smart and manage your blood pressure," Feldon outlined. "These things are in some ways kind of small, but the small things can really add up and make a big difference in terms of how you live."

About 6% of Virginians live with a variety of cardiovascular disease, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

In 2017, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data showed heart disease was the second leading cause of death in the Commonwealth, killing almost 15,000 people.


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