Go Red for Women in February
January 21, 2008
The Healthy Community Coalition (HCC) and Franklin Community Health Network (FCHN) invite you to join them in a campaign to raise awareness about Women and Heart Disease. In February, partnering with the American Heart Association, Greater Franklin County is wearing red every Friday. Wear a red dress, red tie, red sweater or a Red Dress pin to show your support.
Did you know that heart attack and brain attack (stroke) are very common, and often fatal, among both men and women?
- Women are 6-times more likely to die from a heart attack than breast cancer.Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women over the age of 25.
- More women than men have died of heart disease.
- One in 5 females in the United States has some form of heart disease.
Heart attack and stroke risks can be reduced by a healthy lifestyle. Living tobacco-free is one of the best things that you can do to be healthy. If you smoke, there are many resources to help you quit. The Maine Tobacco Helpline 1-800-207-1230 can provide professional tobacco cessation counseling free over the phone. They also can provide up to a 2-month supply of nicotine replacement patches, gum or lozenges. For the health of those around you, especially children, please do not smoke in the house or car.
Thirty minutes of physical activity most days of the week is recommended. Being more physically active has many benefits. It helps burn calories to prevent weight gain or help with weight loss, boosts your HDL’s (the “good” cholesterol), helps lower your blood pressure, helps keep your bones strong and it makes you feel good.
Your body needs the best fuel available to run smoothly. Try to eat 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Also a diet full of whole grains, low fat dairy, fish, and “healthy” oils will lower your risk of heart disease. Sweets, junk food, processed foods, and the like in moderation only.
Know your risk factors, many you can control or treat. Do you know what your cholesterol is? There are many things that you can do to improve your cholesterol numbers. Talk to your doctor to find a plan for you. What is your blood pressure? Anything over 120/80 is now considered pre-hypertension. Make the lifestyle changes now before medication is needed. Are you at risk for diabetes?
Heart attack and brain attack symptoms can be warning signs or can mean permanent damage is about to happen.
Heart attack symptoms can be one or more of these...
- "typical" chest discomfort (pressure, tightness, heaviness in the center of the chest)
- or "atypical" discomfort elsewhere (jaw, neck, shoulder, arm, upper back or abdomen)
- or other symptoms (short of breath, sweating, nausea, vomiting, weakness, fatigue).
Brain attack symptoms can be one or more of these...
- 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 or both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
What to do?
If you or someone you are with is having one or more heart attack or brain attack symptoms, call 911 or get to a hospital right away. Immediate care can prevent damage or save a life.
If you or someone you know has been having heart attack or brain attack warning symptoms, contact a physician or other health care provider as soon as possible. Tests can help detect problems that can be treated in order to prevent heart attack or stroke.
For more information and a free Red Dress pin call the Healthy Community Coalition at 645-3136.
Health Beat is a column of the Healthy Community Coalition, an affiliate of Franklin Community Health Network and a Healthy Maine Partnership. Sandy Richard, RN, BSN, manages the mobile health program. If you have any questions, call us at (800) 525-3136 or 645-3136.
Subscribe to our RSS news feed