February 2, 2012

Wisconsin Women Urged to Observe "National Wear Red Day" by Learning About Heart Disease and Stroke Risk Factors

MADISON-February 3rd is "National Wear Red Day", an American Heart Association event to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke risks for women, and state officials are urging Wisconsin women to learn about these major health threats.

In 2010, heart disease and strokes were responsible for more than 30 percent of the deaths among Wisconsin women, according to Dr. Henry Anderson, State Health Officer. Nationally, heart disease is the major cause of death among women over age 25, with strokes the third major cause of death for this age group, he noted, and both claim more women's lives than cancer.

Some 64 percent of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms, according to the American Heart Association. "The best way to protect yourself is to learn your risk factors for these life-threatening problems," Anderson said. "Check with your health care provider and find out how you can reduce any risks you may face."

Both African American and Hispanic women are at greatest risk for cardiovascular disease due to conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity.

Anderson encouraged women to schedule a "Go Red Heart CheckUp" and to develop a heart disease prevention plan with their health care provider. "It's a great gift you can give yourself and those you love."

For information about heart disease and stroke risk factors, and ways to reduce risk, visit: