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The first Friday of February, which is designated as American Heart Month, is a day that encourages the public to wear red to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease. The West Texas VA Health Care System will be participating in this national event on Feb. 7th with “Go Red”. Cynthia Schaffner told KBest News that “Go Red” is a day for them to help women adopt heart healthy habits. They partner with the American Heart Association so they can equip women veterans with resources they need to reduce the risk of heart disease.

 

"Heart disease if the number one killer in the United States. It kills one woman every 80 seconds, but 80 percent of cardiovascular disease can be prevented through lifestyle changes and education," said Schaffner.  

 

According to Schaffner, there are 5 numbers that women need to be aware of are their total cholesterol, good cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and body mass index.

 

"We can't really change things about ourselves that have to do with our age, gender, heredity, race, or history of heart problems; but we can manage our blood pressure. We can quit smoking, and be more active, and monitor our weight, move more, eat smart, decrease our stress, and decrease alcohol," continued Schaffner.

 

Schaffner also went on to say that women experience symptoms different from men when it comes to heart disease can be different from men. Here, she describes some of the symptoms that women may experience as a sign of a heart attack or heart disease. Some of those signs include shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, back or jaw pain, dizziness or fainting, extreme fatigue, or uncomfortable pressure in the center of your chest, arm pain in one or both arms, or breaking out in a cold sweat.

 

Tomorrow, Feb. 7, 2020, the West Texas VA in Big Spring will have heart healthy snacks, blood pressure checks, and dietitians available to chat with in the Canteen Area from 11 am – 1 pm, and everyone is invited to stop by.

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