Jolene Bopp, a spokeswoman for the Iowa chapter of the American Heart Association, says this day means more than just tossing on an Iowa State sweatshirt. Bopp says, “It’s an opportunity for all of us to spread awareness and support those that we love and honor those that we have lost and unite together in a fight against the nation’s #1 killer, heart disease.”
She says it’s easy for Iowans to get involved in helping the worthy cause. “If you’re working with a company and you want to rally everyone together, you can organize an event at work,” Bopp says. “You can have a Jeans Day or sell extended lunch hours for $5 each, or host a healthy bake sale and compete against departments and see which one can show the best red pride.”
Nearly 7,000 Iowans die of heart disease every year, the leading cause of death in Iowa since 1920. Also, stroke is the 4th leading cause of death in Iowa with another 1,400 deaths per year.
“Eighty percent of cardiac events can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes such as moving more, eating smart and managing blood pressure,” Bopp says. “These are simple things we can do in our day to day life. It’s all-important and it all effects the heart.”
(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)