Nearly one woman every minute dies due to heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. Unfortunately, the seriousness of this risk is not widely known. In order to help raise awareness and funds to combat this issue, the American Heart Association started the Go Red for Women Campaign; this campaign and conjoining events take place every February.
As the leading cause of female fatalities in the U.S., women should especially sit up and pay attention. Here are some fast facts that you should know about this serious condition and how it relates to the ladies in our country.
- One-third of women’s deaths in America are caused by heart disease.
- Heart disease claims the lives of more women than breast cancer and lung cancer combined.
- Although men are at a higher risk for heart disease, female heart disease patients are more likely to experience serious complications, including death, within a year of their first symptoms.
- If a woman has diabetes, she is two and a half times more likely to eventually have a heart attack.
- Over 50 percent of women are overweight and have a sedentary lifestyle that increases the risk of heart disease.
- Women are less likely than men to have an accurate diagnosis after a heart attack. This is because women do not always experience chest pain during a heart attack. Their symptoms may be more subtle or mirror another condition.
At Globe University-Sioux Falls, taking part in the American Heart Association for this cause is a no-brainer, as getting involved in in the community is nothing new for the campus. Campus director and a volunteer for the American Heart Association, Melanie Schopp, shares, “This started out as working with American Heart Association on applied learning projects for our students and volunteering of staff and faculty. This relationship then grew to include more classes outside of our health care courses and more volunteer involvement by our campus.”
This year for the campaign, businesses and individuals were encouraged to decorate and dress up in red–the color of the heart–on February 1. This was not something Globe-Sioux Falls took lightly. Like diligent cupids, the staff and faculty happily decorated with hearts, streamers and cutouts–in addition to clothing themselves in red–all in the name of bringing awareness to the cause.
Furthermore, there was a Red Dress Dash held at night on February 1 where participants donned red dresses over exercise gear as they walked or ran through downtown Sioux Falls. Several members from Globe-Sioux Falls braved the cold night to take part in the event.
“The Red Dress Dash was chilly—but a great turnout for about a mile run and it was neat to see men, women and children come together in our community to raise awareness on heart health,” Melanie said.
Globe-Sioux Falls’ participation hasn’t ended there. “Our campus is [also] actively involved in the Health Challenge to help our student body, staff and faculty become more aware of their overall health,” Melanie explained. Events for the Go Red campaign will continue throughout the month.
Jo Penning, a Globe-Sioux Falls’ faculty member and volunteer for the American Heart Association, explains, “We still have students participating in the Heart and Soul event for Avera at the Washington Pavilion [in Sioux Falls on February 12], and we also have the Passion Luncheon on February 22 at the Convention Center.”
Both events involve raising money for the American Heart Association through tickets to attend and a silent auction, respectively. With all the help from the community, including Globe-Sioux Falls, the #1 killer in women is definitely getting the attention it needs.
By Megan Bott, Administrative Assistant, Globe University-Sioux Falls