February 1, 2013
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683

Wisconsin Women Encouraged to Learn Heart Health Facts on "Wear Red Day" Today

February is American Heart Month

MADISON-Women are encouraged to learn about their heart health risks as First Lady Tonette Walker and state health officials today mark the 10th anniversary of "Wear Red Day," an American Heart Association (AHA) event to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke risks among women.

"Wearing red today helps raise awareness and educate our families, friends and neighbors about the dangers of heart disease," said First Lady Tonette Walker. "Together, we can make a difference for the women in our lives."

Like men, women's most common symptom for heart attack is chest pain, however, women are also likely to experience other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and back or jaw pain. Women should not ignore these symptoms or drive to the hospital if they experience these symptoms, but should instead call an ambulance. Educating family members about women's unique heart attack symptoms is also encouraged.

"Talking with your health care provider to learn your risk factors, and the steps you can take to reduce them, is the best way to protect yourself from these life-threatening conditions," said Dr. Henry Anderson, State Health Officer.

Risks for heart disease include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes and being overweight or obese. Taking small prevention steps can have a big impact, Anderson noted. Key heart disease and stroke prevention steps include:

  • Getting regular blood pressure and cholesterol readings.
  • Quitting smoking; help is available through the Wisconsin Quit Line, 1-800-QUIT NOW.
  • Maintaining an active lifestyle.
  • Taking medications as prescribed.

View more information about heart disease and stroke prevention.

More information about Wear Red Day.