You may see a lot of red shirts at work today. No, it's not Valentine's Day yet. "Go Red for Women," an American Heart Association campaign, has encouraged everyone to wear red today to spread awareness that heart disease is the #1 killer of women.
It's great, but what about men? Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women and men, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
In fact, more than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2008 were in men, according to CDC. So why aren't we wearing red for both sexes? I think it has a lot to do with what Susan G. Komen for the Cure has done for breast cancer. In the last ten years, through pink ribbons, pink garb and races, the foundation has definitely raised awareness. But do women realize that, each year in the US, ALL cancers combined (including breast, lung, etc.) kill less people than heart disease does? (31,785 less in 2009.) I think this campaign is pointed at women to make people realize that although heart disease is not as advertised, it is more of a killer than we think.
And please don't think I am trying to dismiss how awful breast cancer is. Every time I say those words I get this heavy, awful feeling in my chest. It is so horrible and it has affected so many of my friends and friends mothers'. I guess I just want to make a point that there are other diseases that are actually fairly preventable that we can be talking about.
Check out Madeline's blog, Food, Fitness & Family, for stats about heart disease & women and tips for a healthy heart.
So my questions for you are ...
Did you know that heart disease was the #1 killer before this "wear red" campaign?
Knowing that heart disease kills more men than women each year, do you think the campaign should be for men, too?
Do you have any thought on how nonprofits can help raise awareness of diseases other than breast cancer?