On Feb. 2, 2018, a quick look around Food Lion headquarters in Salisbury, N.C., might indicate folks were celebrating Valentine's Day a bit early this year. In fact, associates were raising awareness for a lesser known, though very serious cause: heart disease in women.
Few know that heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women in the United States annually, and is deadlier than all cancers combined. However, this is an illness that can be prevented. February is national "Heart Health" month, and associates at Ahold Delhaize USA, prompted by the Women's Business Resource Group, (WBRG) decided to take action.
"When it came to my attention that heart disease kills one in three women each year, I felt it was only natural that the WBRG lead an effort to raise awareness of this issue," said Katrin Moore, architecture and engineer specialist and WBRG board member. "What seems like a small effort can actually be what saves someone's life."
On the evening of Feb. 1, WBRG members distributed red ribbons and flyers encouraging associates to wear red on Friday, Feb. 2 as well as information about heart disease and risk factors.
"I truly wasn't aware of some of the warning signs," said Tamika Butler, a member of the WBRG. "Heart disease runs in my family, so I'm grateful for the flyer and that I now know how to spot a stroke 'F.A.S.T.'"
Are you at risk?
As previously mentioned, heart disease can be prevented. It is important to know your numbers; ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. In addition, take a few moments to do a lifestyle check. Smoking and being overweight both increase your chances for heart disease. Make sure you exercise regularly and make healthy food choices.
In women, heart disease warning signs include:
Use the "F.A.S.T." quick guide to spot a stroke:
T:ime to call 911
For more information about heart disease, risk indicators and how to be more heart healthy, visit http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/.