Show Your Support - Wear Red!

You can’t be from the great state of Nebraska and not own a “red” piece of clothing of some kind, can you? Even though red clothing in our state is often worn to support a local college team, I would like to ask you to put on your red clothing for a different reason on Friday, February 3rd. National “Wear Red” day is a chance for everyone to help raise awareness about women and heart disease – the #1 killer of women in the U.S. Many events are planned around this day. It is held on the first Friday of February each year. You can play your part by wearing red and joining thousands of Nebraskans in the fight against heart disease.

The month of February is American Heart Month. Heart disease not only affects women, but is also the number one killer of men too. Prevention starts with all of us. Know your risks and take steps now to make small changes that can improve your heart health. Good changes might be: quit smoking, know what your blood pressure is and control it if it’s high, reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, lessen your alcohol intake, lose extra weight or keep a healthy weight, exercise 30 minutes a day on most days of the week, find ways to manage stress, eat foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, and low in sodium and trans fat, and follow your doctor’s advice if you are on any medicine.

Some heart attacks are sudden and strong but most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people having a heart attack aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. The best thing to do is to call 9-1-1 right away so an ambulance can be sent for you. As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. Other symptoms can be shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. Women can have somewhat different symptoms than men too. Sometimes they only have stomach discomfort and think it may be a bout of indigestion.

This coming National “Wear Red” day marks fifteen years since the first “Wear Red” day was started. Great strides in the efforts to raise awareness of heart disease have been made over these years.

  • Nearly 90% of women have made at least one healthy behavior change
  • More than one-third of women have lost weight
  • More than 50% of women exercise more
  • 6 out of 10 women have changed types of foods they eat
  • More than 40% of women have had their cholesterol levels checked
  • One-third of women have talked with their doctor about heart-health plans
  • Today, nearly 300 less women die from heart disease and stroke
  • Death in women has decreased more than 30 percent over the past ten years

Be aware! Learn the signs, but remember that even if you're not sure if it's a heart attack, have it checked out by a doctor anyway. Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own or someone you love. 

For more information on heart disease, contact Four Corners Health Department @ 877-337-3573 or locally @ 402-362-2621. You can also visit their website @ www.fourcorners.ne.gov.