Go Red For Women: Reflections on #WearRedDay

Go Red for Women: Reflections on #WearRedDay
Go Red for Women: Reflections on #WearRedDay
The Go Red For Women campaign has helped significantly decrease heart disease in women since its inception 12 years ago.

For more than a decade, the American Heart Association (AHA) has worked to raise awareness about the fact that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for women. Now in its 12th year, the AHA’s Go Red For Women® campaign has reached millions of women, making great strides in spreading knowledge and helping prevent heart disease in women.

In recent years, the campaign has garnered national attention, with many clinicians, patients, advocates, celebrities and more donning red on National Wear Red Day to show their support. This year, on Feb. 6, Twitter users shared their pictures with the #GoRedSelfie hash tag.

Moreover, Go Red For Women has experienced substantial growth since its inception on the health care front as well. During its first 10 years, enrollment surged from 395,000 to 1,751,512. Additionally, the number of women who completed Go Red Heart Check-ups grew from 127,227 to 1,960,704.

According to the AHA, the number of women who die from heart disease decreased by 34% in the decade after the campaign began, representing 627,000 women. Women in the program have made lifestyle changes to improve their heart health, including losing excess weight, exercising, eating healthier diets, lowering cholesterol and quitting smoking.

Exercise InfographicPhoto courtesy of The Heart Truth, www.hearttruth.gov, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The campaign seeks to help all women, so the AHA identified the challenges and risk factors unique to women of different ethnicities. Since heart disease rates vary among ethnic groups, the campaign has targeted its efforts, especially for African American and Hispanic women.

Women with heart disease have different symptoms and react differently to treatment then men, and the Go Red For Women campaign has been working to integrate this into research and practice. Clinical studies are now required by the FDA to report results by gender, and gender-based research has revealed important new information about women’s symptoms and medication response.

The tools used by the Go Red For Women Campaign for spreading awareness about heart disease in women range from radio spots to television public service announcements (PSAs). See below for Go Red For Women’s ‘Ceiling Crasher’ PSA.

Visit the American Heart Association’s website for more information on how you can support Go Red for Women.