Q. Why do Go Red For Women and other red dress campaigns target women instead of men and women?
In the past, heart disease and heart attack have been predominantly associated with men. Historically, men have been the subjects of the research done to understand heart disease and stroke, which has been the basis for treatment guidelines and programs. This led to an oversimplified, distorted view of heart disease and risk, which has worked to the detriment of women.
Because women have been largely ignored as a specific group, their awareness of their risk of this often-preventable disease has suffered. Only 55 percent of women realize heart disease is their No. 1 killer and less than half know what are considered healthy levels for cardiovascular risk factors like blood pressure and cholesterol. The Go Red For Womenmovement works to make sure women know they are at risk so they can take action to protect their health.
Cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, are our nation’s No. 1 killer. To urge Americans to join the battle against these diseases, since 1963 Congress has required the president to proclaim February “American Heart Month.” (Note this is not “Heart Month” or “National Heart Month.”)
The American Heart Association led initial efforts to develop Annual American Heart Month.
During American Heart Month, thousands of our volunteers visit their neighbors. Their goal is to raise funds for research and education and pass along information about heart disease and stroke.
This year the theme of American Heart Month is Go Red for Women.