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Light It Up Red for Heart Awareness in February

FAIRBURY – During all of February Jefferson Community Health Center and the Go Red for Women committee challenge area residents and businesses to “light it up red.” Raise awareness for heart disease by changing out some of your outdoor lightbulbs — such as porch lights — to red bulbs.

According to the American Heart Association, one out of every three deaths in the U.S. each year is attributed to cardiovascular diseases including heart disease and stroke, making it the No. 1 killer in this country and causing more fatalities than all forms of cancer combined. Cardiovascular disease affects women as well as men. However, only one in five American women believes that heart disease is her greatest health threat. Go Red for Women is an effort to raise awareness of heart disease and empower women with the necessary tools to lead heart healthy lives.

JCHC wants men and women alike to recognize the warning signs of cardiovascular disease and heart attack, and recognize that women may experience symptoms differently than men.

The symptoms of cardiovascular disease include shortness of breath, nausea, back pain and sweating. These can be easy to miss and are sometimes not outwardly apparent, causing it to be known as a “silent killer.”

The symptoms of heart attack include chest discomfort, discomfort in other areas of the upper body (arms, back, neck or stomach), shortness of breath, breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.  Women are somewhat less likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, such as shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting or back or neck pain.

If you are having warning signs of a heart attack, have it checked out.

Know your risk factors, and take steps to keep your heart and cardiovascular system as healthy as possible: stop smoking, get regular physical activity, eat a heart healthy diet, and monitor your blood pressure.

For more information on heart health or the February heart month activities, please contact Erin Starr or Jill Duis at Jefferson Community Health Center at (402) 729-3351.