While awareness of heart disease in women has increased in recent years, many still don't realize they are at risk.
When the Dakota Medical Foundation and the American Heart Association first polled women in North Dakota, they found that 80 percent of women had at least one risk factor for heart disease. After that finding, the push to begin a Go Red for Women campaign in the state began.
Many women weren't aware at that time that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for women.
Submitted Photo - - Members of Minot’s Go Red for Women committee are present when Mayor Curt Zimbelman signs the proclamation for Minot’s Go Red day. Pictured, from left, are Deanna Klein, Janet Maxson, Deb Johnson, Mary Anderson and Kathy Gaddie. Members on Minot’s Go Red committee who are not pictured include Melissa Larson, Caren Barnett, Alisa Dahl and Mary Prough.
"When they first surveyed women in North Dakota in 2006 as to how many women knew that heart disease was the No. 1 killer, we were at 64 percent," said Janet Maxson, nurse practitioner for the Minot Health and Wellness Center. "Now, 88 percent of women know."
The increased awareness has come with more Go Red initiatives throughout the state.
To raise Minot's awareness, Mayor Curt Zimbelman proclaimed Feb. 5 to be Wear Red Day in Minot, urging all citizens to show their support in the fight against heart disease by wearing the color red.
Continued efforts by the local Go Red committee have brought Go Red events to Minot, and the event is now in its fourth year.
This year's Go Red event will be held in Minot. The event is being hosted by Ryan Chevrolet. The event, taking place March 25 from 5 to 7 p.m., will be themed "Passport to a Better U" and will feature 10 fun and educational stations for participants to achieve greater heart health through improved diet, exercise and stress-relief activities.
The tickets for the event cost $5 and are available at Ryan Chevrolet, Broadway Miracle Mart, Off the Vine, Esoterica and Curves.
My Life Check
a new tool to help gauge heart health
In continued efforts to bring heart health issues to the forefront, the American Heart Association has developed a new online resource called My Life Check at (www.heart.org/MyLifeCheck).
The assessment tool identifies the seven goals for ideal health and notes where a person is on the spectrum, while additional tools and information offer specific action steps to improve the measurements and track personal progress.
My Life Check measures a person's wellness using the heart association's indicators of cardiovascular health called "Life's Simple 7." The "Life's Simple 7" steps include not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular physical activity, eating a healthy diet, managing blood pressure, taking charge of cholesterol and keeping blood sugar at healthy levels.
According to an American Heart Association survey, nearly four in 10 American adults, or 39 percent, think that they have ideal heart health; however, 54 percent of those respondents said a health professional had told them they have a risk factor for heart disease and/or they needed to make a lifestyle change to improve their heart health.
The Heart Association hopes that by providing more information, individuals will be more aware of their heart disease risks and will take steps to reduce their risk.