Wear Red Indiana To Support A Healthy Heart

Posted On February 07, 2014

By Mary Kuhlman

heart-stethoscope(Indianapolis, Ind.) – You may see a lot of red at the office, school or market today.

Many Hoosiers will be donning red to raise awareness about heart disease.

The National Wear Red for Women event began more than a decade ago. And Tim Harms, communications director for the American Heart Association in Indianapolis, says since then, there’s been a nearly 30 percent increase in awareness among women about the dangers of cardiovascular disease.

“That still puts the awareness factor only a little over 50 percent,” he says. “So that still means about half of the women out there don’t realize that heart disease is their biggest health threat.

“So there’s still a lot of work to be done. We’re making great progress but we know there’s more to be done.”

Harms says it’s important to know the risk factors for heart disease, including family history, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and weight.

About one-in-three women dies of heart disease, which is about 18,000 women per year just in Indiana.

Harms says the risk factors for heart disease can be reduced through healthy eating, regular exercise, not smoking and decreasing stress.

He suggests starting small, perhaps with a short walk each day.

“Same with diet,” he adds. “If you can start cutting out some sodium here and there, increasing the numbers of fruits and vegetables little by little, eventually you’ve made some significant lifestyle changes and you’ve made a big impact on your health.”

There are many events in Indiana for Heart Month, including workshops, seminars and walks where women can connect with others and get information about cardiovascular disease and health.