CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – February is American Heart Month, and the American Heart Association has asked people to wear red on Friday, Feb. 4 to show support for the Go Red for Women campaign.
The nationwide campaign aims to raise awareness for heart disease, which is the number one cause of death for women and men in the U.S. The campaign’s theme for 2022 is Reclaim Your Rhythm, which aims to help people make healthy decisions and raise awareness for the disease.
Organizations across West Virginia, including 12 News, wore red for the cause on Friday.
According to a release from Mon Health, Mon Health hospitals have participated in the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women initiative for over a decade.
Senator Joe Manchin also hopped onto social media to show his support and posted a photo on his Facebook page sporting a red tie.
Today I’m wearing red to raise awareness for heart health during #AmericanHeartMonth. West Virginia has one of the highest rates of heart disease in the nation. I urge all West Virginians to create good habits to keep you & your family healthy. @aha_wv
Senator Joe Manchin III, Facebook post, Feb. 4, 2022
Governor Jim Justice also wore a red tie on Friday during his virtual COVID briefing. While the briefing was dominated by COVID news, Gov. Justice did finish his briefing by saying, “And think about women’s heart health today too, please.”
“National Wear Red Day is an effort to spread awareness that one in three women are dying from cardiovascular disease and remains the leading killer of women in the U.S. according to the American Heart Association,” said Dr. Samantha Crites, Cardiologist at Mon Health Heart and Vascular Center. “It kills one woman approximately every 80 seconds, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined, and unfortunately, cardiac events are on the rise in women of all ages including women in their 20’s. It is through the Go Red campaign that we hope to raise awareness of heart disease among women of all ages.”
Nearly 80 percent of cardiac events are preventable, according to Mon Health.
“Heart disease doesn’t discriminate. I have yet to talk to someone that has not been affected by it. Whether it’s directly, indirectly, you know someone. So, I think that sense of community like you are not alone and everyone wearing red today in support of it is just so huge for our movement,” said Michelle Loehr, Executive Director of the American Heart Association.
WVU Medicine sent a release encouraging West Virginians to get their heart checked and to know the normal numbers for their body so that they can be informed about their own health.
“Once you know your numbers, you will understand where the warning signs are, and we can come up with a plan to address them,” said Dr. Ramesh Daggubati, chief of Cardiology at the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute. “Small changes, like eating better, moving more, and quitting smoking, can have a big impact.”
According to the American Heart Association, ideal numbers for most adults are:
- Blood pressure – 120/80 mm Hg
- Blood sugar – 100 mg/dL (fasting)
- BMI – 25 kg/m2
- Cholesterol – less than 200 mg/dL (total)
If you wore red on Friday, you can post your pictures online using #GoRedWV to show your support.