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Did you know that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year? 

The American Heart Association promotes education about heart disease, in women, through the campaign "Go Red for Women" during the month of February also known as "American Heart Month". During this time, the public is educated about the risk factors and symptoms of heart disease, as well as, living with the diagnosis. Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. is educating its staff about heart health during the month of February.  It has become more important because of the myths regarding women and heart disease.  Some of those myths include "Only men have heart disease", "only older people are affected by heart disease", "women who are fit aren't at risk". It’s time to set the record straight and start thinking of this as a disease that doesn’t spare woman.

Below are some general statistics regarding heart disease in women:

•Cardiovascular diseases and stroke cause 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds.

         Cardiovascular disease affects an estimated 44 million women in the U.S.

         Ninety % of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke.

         Women have a higher lifetime risk of stroke than men.

         80% of heart disease and stroke events may be prevented by lifestyle changes and education

         Fewer women than men survive their first heart attack.

         The symptoms of heart attack can be different in women vs. men, and are often misunderstood – even by some physicians.

Some of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, body weight/body mass index and high blood glucose. If know you have a family history of heart disease, it’s important to share that information with your doctor. This will help cue your physician into your genetics, making him or her more aware of additional risk factors. Health habits are habits that you can change to lower your risk. For example, smoking, being physically inactive, eating a diet high in fats, and how you respond to stress are all "habits" that can be changed.

If you had heart disease, would you recognize the symptoms?

Heart Attack Warning Signs-Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most of them start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Here are some of the signs that can mean a heart attack is happening.

• Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

• Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

• Shortness of breath. This may occur with or without chest discomfort.

• Other signs. These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light-headedness.


As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. However, women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you’re living with heart disease, the most important thing to realize is that the future does not have to look grim. Listening to the advice of your doctor, making positive lifestyle changes, and knowing where to look for the support you need, can help you maintain a full and productive lifestyle.

Take command of your recovery

•Learn to love labels. Focus on filling your life with healthy eating choices.

•Find ways to stay active. You don’t have to become a gym rat, but you do have to get moving.

•Go easy on yourself. Try to manage your own expectations and don’t expect miracles overnight.

•De-stress. Whatever puts you in a calm and happy zone, find the time to do it.

•Don’t think you have to change your plans. Ultimately, being a survivor means living. So, try to resume a normal lifestyle.


National Wear Red Day took place on February 03, 2017. Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. staff were encouraged to wear red to show support for the awareness of heart disease in women.

For more information about heart disease in women visit: www.go