WINNSBORO — Women across the United States will wear red Feb. 1 to call attention to the fact that heart disease is not just a man’s disease. Heart disease kills 12 times as many women as breast cancer and is the number one cause of death among women.
Because Feb. 1 is “WEAR RED CAMPAIGN DAY,” which kicks off heart month, Fairfield Memorial Hospital is encouraging women to wear red the entire month to create a greater awareness of the disease. More than one third of all deaths in South Carolina are caused by cardiovascular disease and it is the number one killer in the state.
The American Heart Association estimates that heart disease kills 500,000 women in the United States each year compared to 42,000 killed by breast cancer, yet many women do not perceive heart disease as their greatest health threat.
The visual of a red dress is used as the signature of the campaign and to help communicate the fact that heart disease is not just a man’s disease. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s nationwide public awareness campaign also uses the red dress as the signature of its program. The Red Dress Campaign complements this program also.
According to FMH’s Mary Lynn Kinely, the facts include:
• Heart disease is the number one killer of women, claiming the life of a woman every 60 seconds.
• Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, is South Carolina’s leading killer of women among all racial and ethnic groups.
• Thirty eight percent of women will die within one year after having a heart attack compared to 25 percent of men.
• Minority women are at increased risk for heart disease. The risk factors for heart disease include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, diabetes and family history. The death rate due to heart disease is substantially higher for black women than white women.
Fairfield Memorial Hospital will host a “Healthy Heart Banquet” at 6 p.m. Feb. 26. Dr. James W. Phillips, a cardiologist with Columbia Heart, will be the featured speaker. A buffet dinner will be served and tickets will be sold. More details will be available later.