Going Red in the fight against our No.1 killer

| May 21, 2014

Heart disease is the single biggest killer of women in Australia. Mary Barry, National CEO of the Heart Foundation, says that knowing your risk is the first step to stopping heart disease.

Many people are surprised to know that more than three times as many women die from heart disease than breast cancer.

This June the Heart Foundation’s Go Red for Women campaign raises the awareness of heart disease being the single biggest killer of Australian women and is calling on Australians to Go Red for Women to spread the vital message.

We want to challenge the heart patient stereotype, encourage women to look after their hearts and raise vital funds to continue our lifesaving work.

While we are making great progress with women and their awareness of heart disease, there is still quite a way to go in addressing the single biggest killer of women in Australia.

There is no single cause of heart disease, but the risk factors for heart disease are: having a family history, smoking, carrying too much weight, being inactive, eating a diet full of saturated fat and salt and having high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

Knowing your risk is the first step to stopping heart disease and taking the necessary steps to protect your heart.

Currently one in three adult women has high cholesterol, with 90% not aware of their condition. Data on blood pressure shows that one in four women aged 35 and over have high blood pressure, with two in three not aware.

High blood pressure and high cholesterol are known as ‘silent killers’ as there are generally no signs or symptoms. So it’s no surprise that leaving them unchecked can lead to serious health problems, such as heart attack or stroke. Our advice… don’t let this happen to you!

Determining your risk is as simple as booking in an appointment with your GP and asking for a heart health check. It involves a blood pressure and cholesterol tests as well as a discussion about other risk factors like family history, smoking, physical activity and diet.

Now in its seventh year, the Heart Foundation’s Go Red for Women campaign helps raise women’s awareness of heart disease.

Since the Go Red for Women campaign began, awareness of heart disease as the single biggest killer of Australian women has almost doubled, from 20% in 2009 to 36% in December 2013 – something we’re proud of, but shows there’s still much more to be done.

This June we are asking people to Go Red to help fight women’s heart disease. Raising even $100 is enough to fund a woman’s DNA test to help determine genetic factors that can identify people at high risk of heart disease and lead to new, innovative treatments.

Why not join the Heart Foundation’s Go Red for Women campaign and have a red-hot time whilst raising money to help fight heart disease? You can do this by dressing red, eating red, partying red…!  Anything goes as long as it’s red! By doing so you might just help to save the life of one of the very important women in your life. For more ideas or to register visit goredforwomen.org.au.