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Have a heart: Celebrate National Wear Red Day for women's heart health

#GoRed for Women's Heart Health on National Wear Red Day
#GoRed for Women's Heart Health on National Wear Red Day
Renée Canada

February is not only a month to celebrate romance, love and candy hearts. It is also a time to draw attention to heart health. On Friday, Jan. 7, join people all over the country in celebrating National Wear Red Day to raise awareness of women’s fight against heart disease. This will be the eleventh year of the Go Red for Women movement.

Dubbed "the silent killer," heart disease often has no noticeable signs. The most common symptoms of shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness or dizziness, nausea and a quickened heartbeat can be caused by many other conditions, including anxiety.

Research in 2003 revealed that heart disease was the leading cause of death for women. To raise awareness and help save lives, American Heart Association launched Go Red For Women. The group chose the color red to represent its cause, as it is the color of our hearts. The red dress quickly caught on as an iconic symbol.

According to Go Red for Women, more than 25 million Red Dress pins have been worn to support heart disease awareness in women. More than 185 cities have hosted Go Red For Women events. For National Wear Red Day, celebrated the first Friday of each February, more than 2,000 landmarks across the nation have lit up in red. Visit Rivertown’s HamletHub to read about the changes Go Red for Women have seen in awareness and action since starting their work more than a decade ago.

Area Events for Go Red For Women

In the Greater Hartford area, these are events being held for Go Red For Women and National Wear Red Day;

•All Macy’s stores, including the one at Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester, will give 15 to 20 percent off select merchandise to customers who wear red Feb. 5 through Feb. 10 and to those who purchase $2 Red Dress pins. Macy's will also present three exclusive red dresses by Calvin Klein, XOXO and Kensie with 10 percent of the purchase price going to Go Red For Women.

• On Thursday, March 13, the American Heart Association-Connecticut will be hosting the 2014 Go Red for Women Luncheon at the Marriot Hartford Downtown hotel. The ninth annual benefit luncheon takes place 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. There will be time to explore vendors, have a heart-healthy lunch and hear the keynote speaker, Gina Barreca—an author, humorist and UConn professor of feminist theory and English literature. All women are invited to attend the luncheon to learn how to take charge of their heart health. For more information, call Talia Kurtz at 203-303-3325 or visit the 2014 Greater Hartford Go Red For Women Luncheon website.

Women and Heart Disease

Here are more statistics about heart disease in women from The Heart Foundation:

• Although it is often thought to be a man’s disease, a little more than half of the total deaths from heart disease each year in the U.S. are women,

• Eight million women in this country are currently living with heart disease. Of these, 35,000 are under the age of 65.

• The annual number of women in the U.S. who have heart attacks is 435,000. Of these, 83,000 are under the age of 65. Under age 44, there are 35,000.

• Heart attacks are twice as fatal in women under the age of 50 than they are in men.

• This last one may come as a surprise: The number of women who die annually from heart attacks is six times the number of women who die from breast cancer: 267,000 women. According to Go Red for Women, heart disease claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined.

Share Your Wear Red Photos With Mind-Body Shift
On Friday, I’ll be wearing red in honor of the many women living with and dying from heart disease. Take a look around your closet for something in vibrant red—from a sweater to a scarf—and show you support as well. Share your photos of how you are celebrating Wear Red Day with Mind-Body Shift on Facebook or Twitter.

This article was originally published on The Mind-Body Shift. Renée Canada is an AADP-board certified holistic health coach for The Mind-Body Shift, with certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and education from UConn's School of Public Health. In her practice, clients learn to improve their health and lifestyle through a holistic approach to wellness that encompasses the body, mind and spirit. Email Renée to learn more about how you can create the healthy, rewarding and happy life you've always desired.