(MAHASKA COUNTY, Iowa) – Feb. 2 was National Wear Red Day, when the American Heart Association encouraged everyone to wear red to bring awareness to cardiovascular disease and its effect on women.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. The goal of National Wear Red Day is to challenge women to know their risk for heart disease and take action to reduce their likelihood of developing the deadly disease.
“One of the main challenges this movement faces is convincing women that heart disease is actually a serious risk for them,” said Mahaska Health Partnership Cardiac Rehab Nurse Renee Edgar, RN. “Too many women are convinced that cardiovascular disease isn’t relevant to them because of their gender, age and lifestyle.”
Even with the increased efforts of the AHA, heart disease still kills more women than all cancers combined. “If you take the proper precautions ahead of time, you could save yourself from developing cardiovascular disease,” Edgar said. “Don’t wait for a heart attack or stroke to start eating healthy, exercising and if you smoke, quit.”
To further encourage heart health, MHP will be offering reduced-rate cholesterol screenings on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. The event will run from 6:00-9:00 AM on MHP’s Oskaloosa campus in the Cedar Bluff Learning Center, located at 1229 C Avenue East (entrance #3). No appointment is needed. In New Sharon, it will be held from 7:00-9:00 AM at the New Sharon Medical Center, 112 South Main Street. Appointments can be made by calling 641.637.2651.
The cholesterol screening is a Lipid Panel, which includes total cholesterol, HDL (good cholesterol), LDL (bad cholesterol) and Triglycerides. The screening requires a 12-hour fasting. Along with the cholesterol screenings, cardiopulmonary experts will be on hand in Oskaloosa to give blood pressure checks. Registered Dietitian Lea Rice will be checking body mass indexes for free.