February is here and Black Fridays have officially gone ‘Red’. It’s American Heart Month!

American Heart Month is more than just wearing red as a fashion statement; it brings awareness to public about the #1 killer of women and how you can prevent becoming a statistic. Issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are just some of the factors that can increase your risk of heart disease.

I, for one, am very sensitive to this simply because my family has a history of pretty much everything on the list as a risk factor. What’s ironic is people will read/listen/hear this and possibly feel sorry, but end up the same ones that tease and give me a hard time because I choose to eat healthy and stay active. Don’t think this means much? Let’s check the staggering facts about heart disease and African American women.

Diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity and a family history of heart disease are all greatly prevalent among African Americans and are major risk factors for heart disease and stroke. What’s more, African American women have almost two times the risk of stroke than Caucasians, and more likely to die at an earlier age when compared to women of other ethnicities.

Here are a few unsettling stats:

Cardiovascular diseases kill nearly 20,000 African American women annually.
Of African-American women ages 20 and older, 49 percent have heart diseases.
Only 1 in 5 African American women believes she is personally at risk.
Only 52 percent of African American women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
Only 36 percent of African American women know that heart disease is their greatest health risk.

You can find more facts about African American Women here and all women here.

Now that you know, what are you going to do?  It’s February. Go!

Go Red for Women!

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