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National Wear Red Day shines a light on heart disease

Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, especially among women. The American Heart Association has named February "Heart Month" to raise awareness.

CALIFORNIA, USA — February 3 is the 2023 National Wear Red Day. The American Heart Association reserves this day and the month of February to shine a light on heart disease. On Friday, it asks everyone to wear the color to bring awareness to the number one killer of Americans, especially women. Women often have atypical symptoms making heart disease hard to diagnose.

Sutter Cardiologist and American Heart Association volunteer Dr. Neelu Vallurupalli said the good news is it's preventable.

There is a genetic component for some, but 80% of avoiding heart disease is in your hands. Here's what you can do:

  • Avoid Smoking
  • Keep a healthy weight by exercising and eating right 
  • Get a good amount of sleep
  • Stay up to date with your doctor's visits.

"Especially women, they think they're not vulnerable to heart disease and can ignore the symptoms. So even younger women in the reproductive age group can have heart disease. So, number one is do not ignore your symptoms, seek immediate medical care and then most importantly regular checkups. A lot of patients don't like to go to the doctors because they feel like we find something or the other, but as we talked about, it's preventable," Vallurupalli said.

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack:

  • Chest heaviness & tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting
  • Jaw and Shoulder pain (especially in women)
  • Neck pain or discomfort in the arm or shoulder

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