Heart Disease Awareness
By Jasmine Hernandez
The American Heart Association (AHA), promoted “Go Red For Women,” an event meant to promote more research concerning heart disease. February is a chance for thousands of women, not excluding men, to wear something red in support of heart disease awareness.
“Go Red For Women” was celebrated on the first Friday of February. On February 7th, Coachella Valley residents observed seven years of participation in “Go Red For Women,” at The Renaissance Esmeralda in Indian Wells, CA. The occasion was draped in red throughout. Vendor tables, silent auctions, a luncheon and other fun activities in support of heart disease and stroke awareness in women complemented the event. “Go Red For Women” is committed to funding valuable research meant to encourage women to become more proactive about their own heart health.
Lynn-Holly, a “Go Red For Women” spokesperson, has been involved in the program for three years, is a stroke survivor herself, and described the movement as a “women’s country-wide fundraiser educating women about the increase of heart problems, emphasizing incidence of fatalities among women.” Heart disease is the number one killer for women, its death toll is far beyond that of breast cancer. “We are all busy taking care of kids, family, husbands, and people think it is like in the movies, but that is not what this is all about,” she said the day of the event.
The symptoms differ heavily from women to men. Men’s symptoms include, chest pains, sweating, and shortness of breath. Women, however, have more subtle reactions that can last up to a few days, like jaw pain, tightness in the chest. Additionally, sometimes women may even confuse heart problems with indigestion.
The senior vice president for the AHA, Kristie Tagg, was happy to announce the 10th year of the “Go Red For Women” event. Tagg reiterated that the AHA campaign got its start 15 years ago by looking at previous heart disease studies and realizing they were all focused primarily on men. The AHA’s goal is to spread awareness of heart disease, promote healthier lives, by highlighting cardiovascular disease and stroke by bringing the subject to college campuses, in order to educate younger generations of women to the symptoms pertinent to their gender. Besides the genetic aspect, 80% of heart disease is preventable by changing one’s lifestyle via exercise, healthy diet, maintenance of blood pressure and cholesterol.
It is the younger generation that can make all the difference in the health of the older generation. Whether it is a t-shirt, dress, cardigan, or even fingernails, the support from college students can have a huge impact, not only on the ones who have heart disease, but to those who will experience it in the future.