National Wear Red Day

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HEALTHWATCH - The American Heart Association is encouraging everyone to go red for women today. On this national Wear Red Day, the goal is to raise awareness about women and heart disease.

Jacqueline Alikhaani had no idea the discomfort in her chest was a sign of heart disease. “It was just a little burning and like a little drip dripping. It was a really weird feeling.”

The 56 year old has high blood pressure and diabetes, risk factors that are more common in African American women. A new report from the American Heart Association highlights the differences between ethnic groups when it comes to women and heart disease and stroke. “Things like diabetes, a really important risk factor for both men and women, but the risk is about three folds higher for a woman with diabetes compared to a man with diabetes.”

Obesity is also a greater risk factor for African American and Hispanic women. The whole point of the Go Red campaign is to get the word out because so many women don’t realize heart disease is their biggest health threat.

Dr. Karol Watson at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine says many women are not aware some heart attack symptoms can be subtle. “A woman might have a little chest discomfort or a little shortness of breath or nausea or dizziness or fatigue, all really non-specific symptoms.”

Jacqueline hopes other women learn about the warning signs. “When you know something is not feeling right, you should really be persistent about getting somebody checking it out until you feel comfortable.”

Jacqueline now takes walks and watches her diet to stay healthy.

Every 79 seconds a woman in the United States dies from heart disease or a stroke. Our area will be raising awareness in various ways throughout the day. This includes Arvest Ball Park in Springdale, which will be lighting up red for it.

Segment Sponsored by: Mercy Health System