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National Wear Red Day. American Heart Month Raises Awareness about the Importance of Heart Health
Photo: National Wear Red Day. American Heart Month Raises Awareness about the Importance of Heart Health
Heart Disease is the #1 Cause of Death in the United States and in Chicago
The Chicago Department of Public Health is participating in National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 3 by asking Chicagoans to wear red tomorrow in order to help raise awareness and support healthy hearts.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death among women in the United States and February is American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness of the important of heart health. Heart disease is also the number one cause of death in Chicago as well as across the United States, and stroke is the third leading cause of death in Chicago.
“The American Heart Association’s National Wear Red Day is a great way for people in Chicago to join the national movement to raise awareness to a serious issue facing all women: keeping their hearts healthy. Understanding the risks of heart disease and stroke is incredibly important, as is learning the steps to take that will help protect our health and the health of our loved ones, “ said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“So many families are impacted by heart disease and stroke, and fortunately there are many simple steps we can all take to prevent heart disease such as eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and not smoking. This is why CDPH has made Heart Disease and Stroke one of the City’s top 12 health priorities, outlined in Healthy Chicago, our plan with a vision of making our city the healthiest in the nation. “ Dr. Bechara Choucair, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.
Heart disease is often silent, hidden and misunderstood among women. Nearly eight million women in the U.S. are living with heart disease, yet only one in six American women believes that heart disease is her greatest health threat. More women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer combined. Understanding heart health is key to preventing heart disease. The Chicago Department of Public Health offers the following tips for residents to understand the signs of a heart attack and stroke, what to ask your doctor and how to prevent heart disease.
Signs of a Heart Attack
Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest and lasts more than five minutes, or that goes away and comes back.
If can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing fullness or pain. Discomfort in other areas of the upper body
Shortness of breath
Breaking out in a cold sweat
nausea or lightheadedness.
Signs of a Stroke
If one of more of these signs is present, don’t delay and call 911
Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
Sudden trouble seeing in one of both eyes
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
Sudden severe headache with no known cause
What to Ask Your Doctor
Here are some questions to discuss with doctor or health care provider to help you better understand your heart health include:
What is my risk for heart disease?
What is my blood pressure? What does it mean for me and what do I need to do about it?
What are my cholesterol numbers? What do they mean for me and what do I need to do about them?
Do I need to lose weight for my health?
What is my blood sugar level? Am I at risk for diabetes?
What other screening tests for heart disease do I need? How often should I return for checkups for my heart health?
How much physical activity do I need to help protect my heart?
What is a heart-healthy eating plan for me?
Preventing Heart Disease
The following are some of the steps you can take to decrease you risk of heart disease.
Control your blood pressure
Control your blood cholesterol
Control your weight
Reduce your stress level
Be physically active
Eat a nutritious diet