KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — You may have noticed a lot of people wearing red Friday: It was the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign.
The goal is to raise awareness for heart disease, which is the No. 1 killer of women. It takes more women’s lives than all cancers combined.
Among other events Friday, about 500 people gathered at the Delta Marriott in Kalamazoo for a Go Red for Women luncheon. They bid on silent auction items, raising money for cardiovascular research specifically targeted to women.
A central component of Go Red for Women is educating women about heart disease symptoms, which may be different from the chest and arm pain men typically experience.
“About 60% of women do not display the same set of symptoms at all,” said Jeanne Lasarge Bono, the executive director of the American Heart Association of West Michigan, explained. “They can be considerably more subtle. So it can be stomach pain, it can be nausea and vomiting, like you’ve got the flu. It might be pain in just their jaw or pain between the shoulder blades. They might feel extremely uncommon fatigue, where they’re exhausted.”
Here’s the encouraging news: 80% of cardiac events can be prevented through diet and exercise.
If you’d like to find out more information or get involved in the push to raise awareness, just head to goredforwomen.org.