There was a sea of red ties, scarves and dresses at last week’s Delaware County Council meeting, all being worn to raise awareness about heart disease.
Heart disease, including stroke, is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, according to the American Heart Association.
To help bring awareness to heart disease, County Council presented a resolution designating February as American Heart Month.
The first Friday of the month was designated as “Go Red” Day where people across the country were urged to wear red to raise awareness for heart disease.
“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States,” said Councilwoman Colleen P. Morrone. “In particular, more women than men die from suffering a heart attack each year. In women, heart disease is often a silent killer. It’s critical that we all learn to prevent heart disease, to learn the symptoms of heart attack and stroke, and to seek immediate treatment when heart disease strikes.”
The Council resolution is just one aspect of a campaign to address the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Representatives from the American Heart and Stroke Associations addressed Council along with two stroke survivors who now help others recover from the debilitating effects of a stroke.
Members of the County Department of Intercommunity Health also teamed up with staff from Crozer Keystone Health system last week to offer blood pressure screenings and heart health information to both employees and visitors in the Government Center lobby. An informational display with brochures will remain on view throughout February in the lobby.
“Everyone can take steps to lower their risk for heart disease and heart attack,” said Dr. George Avetian, Delaware County Senior Medical Advisor. “A healthy lifestyle of eating healthy, staying active, being smoke-free and getting regular check-ups is your best weapon to fight heart disease.”
People who are at a higher risk for heart disease are women over the age of 55 and men over the age of 45. People who have a family history of early heart disease are also at higher risk.
Heart disease can be prevented by people watching their weight and cholesterol, not smoking and staying away from secondhand smoke, drinking alcohol in moderation, eating healthy, exercising and managing stress.
“Heart disease is something that is affecting a lot of people lives, and this is a disease that does not get the attention that it should,” said Kyra Simmons of Media. “Heart disease is something that runs in my family, so it’s nice to see that people in Delaware County are bringing awareness about this disease. I hope people will realize how crucial it is go to your doctor and how important it is to take care of your body.”