February 4, 2009
This Friday millions of Americans will wear red to highlight women’s risk of dying from heart disease. About ten times as many women die from heart disease as breast cancer in the United States each year, yet an astonishing 90 percent of primary care doctors still don’t know that heart attacks kill more women than men. This year Healthy Monday is urging women to continue wearing red once a week, to help sound the alarm all year long.
“By wearing something red every Monday, women can signal their commitment to their own heart health” says Sid Lerner, Chairman of the Healthy Monday Campaign. “By sharing the reason they’re wearing red with women they meet, that lifesaving information becomes viral. If every Monday a woman tells two friends, and they tell two friends, pretty soon women all over the country will have this crucial information. It’s just like compounding interest, but it’s about saving lives.”
“Go Red for Women is about getting vital information into every community and every home,” says Michael Weamer, Executive Vice President for the American Heart Association’s Founders Affiliate. “Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States – far greater than all forms of cancer combined, but women aren’t taking action to protect their hearts because they just aren’t aware of the risks.”
Dr. Lori Mosca, Director, Preventive Cardiology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, says, “My research shows that doctors often don’t feel very effective in helping their patients reduce their risk of heart disease. That’s why public awareness and education programs are so important.”
“Preventing deaths from heart disease means getting millions of women to change their habits, week after week, year round, but first they need to be convinced of the urgency and the benefits,” says Dr. Thomas Kottke, who in January published a study showing that high-quality preventive treatment could postpone or prevent a third of all deaths, and an even higher proportion of deaths from heart disease. “We need to let women know that preemptive intervention can dramatically reduce the danger.”
Wear something red every Monday and help get the word out each week. Visit Go Red for Women and The Heart Truth for more information and to order your red dress pins and accessories. Then make your own Monday Checklist.
Healthy Monday is a project of Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications. Healthy Monday uses weekly recommitment campaigns to help people stop smoking, lose weight, stick with an exercise program and adopt other healthy behaviors and lifestyle changes.