Wear Red for Women

No, it’s not Valentine’s day yet—it’s National Wear Red Day, a campaign from the American Heart Association to raise awareness of heart disease in women. Every year, more women die of heart disease than the next three leading killers combined, including all forms of cancer. A woman suffers a heart attack every 60 seconds in the U.S. We at Sharecare are wearing our awareness on our sleeves. Are you?

More important, if you’re a woman, would you do the right thing if you were having a heart attack? Studies show that many women don’t. According to a survey by the American Heart Association, 87% of women would call 9-1-1 if someone else was having a heart attack, but only 50% of women would call 9-1-1 for themselves.

Just as frightening, only half of women knew the typical symptoms of a heart attack such as chest pain and pain in the arm, neck, and shoulders, and far fewer knew other common (but less obvious) symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, and fatigue.

Think you know the symptoms? How about what to do if you’re having a heart attack? (Hint: Don’t drive yourself to the hospital.)

A woman’s heart is often the glue that holds families and marriages together—but don’t let that fool you: Those hearts are vulnerable, too.

By the way, on Wednesday we asked our Sharecare Facebook fans what worried them the most: Alzheimer’s disease, heart attack or cancer. Surprisingly, it was a tie: just as many of you chose heart attack as cancer and Alzheimer’s. Kudos to you for taking this very real risk seriously.

Are you a woman who’s had a heart attack? How did you handle it? Post a comment below.

Join the largest health conversation in 140 characters or less! Tweet what you want to talk about to @SharecareNow and let’s start chatting!

File under: In the News


Marianne Wait

A devoted health junkie, Marianne believes that information plus inspiration equals action. She spent many years at Reader’s Digest creating health books designed to help people understand complex health topics and achieve their health goals, from lowering their cholesterol and blood sugar to losing weight to sharpening their brain power.

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