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Women ‘Go Red’ for better heart health

January 27, 2017

UHS and the American Heart Association will join forces on Friday, Feb. 3, at UHS Vestal, to raise public awareness of the significance of women’s heart health issues.

A commemorative ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. to mark the day, part of the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" national public awareness campaign.

Speakers will include John Carrigg, executive vice president and chief operating officer of UHS; cardiologist Hisham Kashou, MD; and Deborah MacNamee, a retired nurse who will tell her story as a heart attack survivor.

Over the years, many Americans have dismissed heart disease as primarily an older man’s disease. To dispel the myths and raise awareness of heart disease and stroke as the No. 1 killer of women, the American Heart Association in 2004 created "Go Red For Women," a passionate, emotional social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health.

Go Red For Women encourages awareness of the issue of women and heart disease, and also action to save more lives. The movement harnesses the energy, passion and power women have to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease.

Based on research, a woman who "Goes Red" does the following:

  • Follows an exercise routine
  • Eats a healthier diet
  • Visits her doctor for important tests
  • Influences others by talking about heart health.

The campaign is designed to make women and their loved ones more aware of the wide range of signs and symptoms that can signal an impending heart attack in a woman.

These may include:

  • Chest pain, either intense or mild
  • Pain in the shoulder, arm, neck, jaw or back
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness or nausea
  • Unexplained anxiety, weakness or excessive sweating

"My advice to other women is to stay alert to any of the above - any unusual signs or symptoms that don’t seem quite right," Ms. MacNamee said. "And then don’t delay – call 911."

Continuing, she noted: "You won’t regret it, you’ll get an accurate diagnosis and you’ll receive outstanding care from the medical team that surrounds you. Most importantly, it just may save your life."