Iowans are seeing and wearing red today as part of an education campaign about the importance of heart health.
Chrissy Meyer, the spokeswoman for the Iowa chapter of the American Heart Association, says Go Red for Women Day was launched in 2004 to raise awareness.
“We were seeing that more women than men were dying of heart disease and stroke, yet most women didn’t know that heart disease was their number-one health threat,” Meyer says. “So ‘Go Red For Women’ as a movement was started to educate women about that fact.”
The effort has seen significant progress over the years. “Today, many more women are aware of the fact that heart disease is their number-one killer, but we still have a lot more work to do,” Meyer says. “Frighteningly enough, our most recent research has shown that younger women, especially younger women of color, may not be completely aware of their heart health risks.”
Almost 7,000 Iowans die of heart disease every year, the leading cause of death in Iowa since 1920. Coronary heart disease is responsible for about one of every five deaths in Iowa. Special activities focused on women’s heart health are planned in the coming weeks in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and the Quad Cities.
(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)