Going Red to Spread the Word About Heart Health

By: Jennifer C. Yates

More than 42 million women suffer from cardiovascular disease in the United States, making it the leading cause of death for women. And sadly, much of it is preventable, according to experts at UPMC.

Feb. 1 marks National Wear Red Day, a day started by the American Heart Association to raise awareness of women’s heart health. UPMC is taking part by encouraging those at risk of cardiovascular disease to get a  heart screening, either by calling UPMC’s Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI) or attending one of their free Check Your Heart screening events. 

“If you can pick up on the risk factors for cardiovascular disease early in someone’s life, you can make a real difference,” said Michael Mathier, M.D., heart failure cardiologist at the HVI. “Many cardiovascular diseases are preventable but you can only prevent them if you have an understanding of what your particular risk profile is.”
The screenings are held throughout the Pittsburgh region during the year. Participants can have their height, weight, blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol checked and discuss the results with UPMC health care providers. 
Some risk factors for cardiovascular disease include:
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Diabetes

If people identify their risk factors early, they can work on preventive strategies that can ensure better health for years to come, Mathier said.

Cardiovascular screenings will be held today for National Wear Red Day at UPMC Magee and at Monroeville Mall. For more information, visit the HVI website