Almost two years ago to the day, I woke up to my mom being unresponsive, and learned that she had passed away overnight from a heart attack. Her death was sudden, and crippling to my family and I. Yes, she suffered from high blood pressure, but she was always healthy and the person who had taken care of me since day one.
The sad thing is my mom was not alone.
Heart disease is the number one killer of women, according to the Go Red for Women page on the American Heart Association website. It causes one in three deaths each year, killing one woman per minute. That thought is scary I know.
February is National Women’s Health Month, which promotes awareness in Women’s Heart Health. The common misconception is that men suffer from heart attacks more than women, but that is simply not the case.
What is even more frightening is that symptoms of heart attacks are different from men to women. If I had known my mom’s symptoms were in fact related to a heart attack, maybe she would have been one less death.
According to the Go Red For Women site, those symptoms include:
- A case of the flu
- Feeling as though you strained a muscle in the chest.
Now, there are many factors that can cause a heart attack in women. According to the website, they include age, high blood pressure, obesity, family history, high cholesterol, and whether or not the person smokes.
While I have a personal tie to this cause, I know that my mom is not the only person to suffer from the effects of a heart attack. My mom is the reason why I choose to wear red every February, and continue to be healthy by eating right, and exercising. My mom is also the reason why I continue to promote the cause of heart health and support women’s heart health.
That said, I hope that this post inspires you to not only wear red, but also promote healthy choices year round. It may be walking or exercising more. It may mean eating better. Or, it may mean putting your mental health first, as we know that I am a huge advocate for mental health awareness. Whatever that may mean, let’s try to make healthier choices this month and every month.