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Women wear red to raise awareness about heart health

(KSFY)
Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 6:29 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - On the first Friday of each February, the American Heart Association encourages women to wear red to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and strokes in women. According to the foundation, heart disease and stroke is the number one cause of death in women in the United States, affecting 1 in 3.

“That is more than all the cancers combined, and I feel like it’s kind of a hidden danger, not every woman knows about it,” says Ryan Wallace Huckstep, a cardiac nurse at Providence Alaska Medical Center. “You hear all the other risks for cancer and that sort of thing, but women’s heart disease and stroke education I feel is still just not out there.”

The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health for this very reason.

On a normal year without COVID-19, women from all over the country would come together for Go Red for Women luncheons, signature events providing a platform for survivors to share their stories, women to advocate for themselves and for others and create a local network to know they are not alone. This year, however, the foundation is going digital on Feb. 10. Registration for the Go Red Digital Experience can be found here.

“Wearing red on Friday is a great prelude to talk about heart disease and stroke. Maybe someone will see a pin and ask why you’re wearing red,” says Huckstep. “It’s a great segue into talking about your risks.”

Huckstep says things like cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels can all help determine your heart disease risk and stroke. More information is available on the American Heart Association’s website under the risk factors tab.

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