PINEHURST — Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, causing one in three deaths each year.
FirstHealth of the Carolinas wants everyone to “Go Red” for women as an effort to raise awareness about heart disease. The American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” movement was started in 2004 when they found that though heart disease was a number one killer, there were many misconceptions — mainly that it was a disease of older men. They felt education and awareness was the first step in reducing the hundreds of thousands of deaths a year caused by this disease.
On the first Friday of every February, which is designated as American Heart Month, the nation unites in wearing red on National Wear Red Day to advocate for heart health. If you, a loved one or anyone in your life has been affected by heart disease, you can show your support of this movement by putting on your best red dress or red suit and help to raise awareness. While the Go Red movement was started in 2004 with a focus on women’s cardiovascular disease, National Wear Red Day is really about everyone that has been impacted by this disease.
There are several risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes and family history. Some of these risk factors can be controlled or even cured. It is critically important for everyone to understand that a great deal of heart disease does not just happen to us — but rather it happens due to many factors that we can avoid, improve or stop.
To lower your risk or the risk of those around you, do the following:
- Meet yearly with your primary care doctor
- If you don’t have a primary care doctor, get one
- Watch your weight
- Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation
- Eat healthy
- Get active
FirstHealth remains committed to be a leader in advanced heart care through services offered in Reid Heart Center and in our cardiology clinics throughout the region. Reid Heart Center offers state-of-the-art hybrid operating rooms that allow for complex and innovative surgical procedures.
Cardiothoracic surgeon Peter Ellman, M.D., said the combination of place and people make FirstHealth unique.
“Reid Heart Center at Moore Regional Hospital is a really special place. We are a regional hospital doing world-class things. Our goal is to offer the people living in the Sandhills and neighboring counties state-of-the-art heart care close to home,” Ellman said. “We are consistently ranked among the top heart hospitals in the country, and we are always striving to learn the newest techniques and refine our processes to deliver the most outstanding care to the people of this area.”
To learn more about FirstHealth’s heart services, visit our website.