Breakthrough Patient Recruitment

: Wear Red Campaign Continues to Make Strides Against Heart Disease in Women

Wear Red Campaign Continues to Make Strides Against Heart Disease in Women

Managing Editor

It was exactly 5 years ago today that I was offered my job at MMG. Although remembering such dates is my party trick, there's a really important reason I remember this date. I was offered this job and an opportunity to work on the Smokefree Women campaign on Feb. 5, 2010, which just so happened to be National Wear Red Day that year. I was, indeed, wearing red that day. And here we are, 5 years later, and I am still wearing red and still just as passionate about the cause.

To bring you up to speed, National Wear Red Day® is sponsored by the American Heart Association and is celebrated on the first Friday of every February. The day seeks to raise awareness of heart disease in women by encouraging "everyone to wear red, raise their voices, know their cardiovascular risk, and take action to live longer, healthier lives."

Since the campaign first launched in 2003, a significant amount of progress in the fight against heart disease and stroke in women has been made. Some of the highlights include that:

  • Nearly 90 percent of women have made a least one healthy lifestyle change
  • Nearly 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke today than just more than a decade ago
  • Death among women has decreased by more than 30 percent across the past 10 years

However, there's still a great deal of work to be done. Each year, one out of every three women dies of heart disease or stroke, and heart disease remains the number one killer of women. And here's the even more startling fact: 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented by lifestyle changes.

Organizations including the American Heart Association, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the Office on Women's Health, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services now have full campaigns promoting National Wear Red Day, and they want you to get involved! For information and inspiration, check out this toolkit which was created by the NHLBI and funded by the Office on Women's Health.

National Wear Red day is a prime example of a health communications campaign done right. With year over year increases in both awareness and behavior change, the campaign sets a high bar. It's a pointed campaign without being preachy and it successfully empowers women (and the people who love them) to take charge of their health, and most importantly, their hearts.

If you'd like to get involved in your own campaign to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke among women, here are a few ideas to get you started:

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