American Heart Month Wear Red Day, Feb. 4

  • Published
  • By Marilyn Leggett
  • Civilian Health Promotion Services
To raise awareness of risk factors and to decrease death rates, February is "American Heart Month." The goal is to urge Americans to join the battle against heart disease through knowledge, research, and treatment.

Our nation's "Wear Red Day" occurs on the first Friday each February. The purpose of this day is for people to show their support for the awareness of heart disease by wearing red.

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in this country among both men and women. Therefore, despite your gender, there is a strong likelihood that this devastating disease could strike you or a loved one at some point during your lifetime.

Cardiovascular disease kills more people than the next four most common causes of death combined. Approximately one out of every three Americans will develop one or more types of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular diseases include, but are not limited to, hypertension, heart attack, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis (an accumulation of plaque on the arterial walls caused by fats and lipids), angina (chest pain) and high cholesterol.

Some risk factors are completely out of our control. However, you can control numerous risk factors. Making healthy lifestyle choices can save you or a loved one's life and most of these choices really are not very difficult. For example, while you cannot control your age, gender, genetics or race, you can control your diet, activity level, whether you smoke, have regular visits with your family doctor, and take medications should you need them.

For more information about heart health and prevention, please visit The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The American Heart Association, or the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute