The color red represents strength, joy and power and during American Heart Month in February, it symbolizes the fight against heart disease in women.
One in three women die of heart disease or stroke, according to the American Heart Association. Education and lifestyle changes, however, can prevent 80 percent of cardiac events.
“This is an important opportunity to raise awareness that heart disease is not just a man’s disease, to stop and honor the many people struggling with heart disease, and to celebrate the advances we’ve seen over the years against heart disease and stroke,” said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown.
The cause behind the color is Go Red For Women, a movement the AHA started more a decade ago to fight a life-threatening lack of awareness about heart disease in women, which extended to many physicians and researchers.
Since Go Red began in 2004, more than 670,000 lives have been saved, according to AHA statistics. In addition, women have learned more about why they should know their risks and what do to about them.
“We must all remember that we are making an impact in this difficult fight, and together we can continue to help build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke,” Brown said.
Hundreds of Go Red activities and events will take place in February.
Politicians, celebrities and nearly 300 news anchors will don red clothes, while more than 550 landmarks coast-to-coast will be lit red to celebrate on Feb. 6.
The landmarks scheduled to Go Red include the Wrigley Building in Chicago; the governor’s mansion in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; the iconic Las Vegas sign; Niagara Falls in New York; Graceland in Memphis; LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans, in Nashville; Penn Station in Philadelphia; and Pikes Place Market in Seattle.
In the Capital Region of upstate New York, nine-month-old Cora Russom and her mother Melissa Russom, who have an abnormal heart rhythm known as Long QT Syndrome, will flip the switch on Feb. 5 to light 29 buildings. One of the buildings, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, takes it to another level, lighting up the building so that it beats like a heart.
Other events include a presentation by Woman’s Day magazine of the annual Red Dress Awards on Feb. 10, honoring actress Andie MacDowell and others for their work leading the fight against heart disease in women.
Kicking off Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City is the 2015 Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection, presented by Macy’s. It will feature models of all ages wearing designer red dresses.
“I am proud, excited and hopeful to know that so many people across the country are focusing on heart disease through American Heart Month and Go Red For Women events in February,” Brown said.
Other events include:
- Ninety Go Red For Women luncheons;
- A National Wear Red Day Twitter Chat 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. CST on Feb. 6;
- Have Faith In Heart events in churches across the country;
- Local Go Red Total Makeover events, Feb. 7 and Feb. 14.