Amparo Villablanca, director of the UC Davis Women's Cardiovascular Medicine Program, and her colleagues invite you to join them in wearing red Feb. 7 and raising awareness that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women.
The first Friday in February ― also American Heart Month ― is National Wear Red Day and highlights the impact of heart disease on women.
Only about half of all women know that heart disease is their leading killer, surpassing all forms of cancer combined. Also, more women than men die each year of heart disease. The number of heart disease deaths among younger women is growing. Women tend to hesitate or not call 911 at all when experiencing heart attack symptoms.
UC Davis Health cardiovascular specialists work every day to help their patients address heart and vascular disease. They hope all women will do these three things to reduce their risks:
1. Know your numbers: Keep your blood pressure under 120/80, cholesterol under 200, body mass index under 25, waist under 35 inches and blood sugar level under 100.
2. Talk with your doctor about managing your heart disease risks, but call 911 immediately if you experience signs of a heart attack: chest discomfort or pain, shortness of breath, sweatiness, nausea, dizziness or fatigue, especially with physical or emotional stress.
3. Let go of stress to reduce your risk of heart disease: Find ways to relax every day, such as yoga, meditation, walking or whatever calms you.
Villablanca's program is the nation's first dedicated to female-focused heart disease care, research and education. Learn more about how to control your risks on her program’s website at womenshearthealth.ucdavis.edu.