Feb. 3 is National Wear Red Day to bring awareness to heart health

Heart disease is No. 1 killer of women in Illinois

National Wear Red Day is Friday, Feb. 3.

The La Salle County Health Department is encouraging people to wear red to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and help save lives. Why? Because losing even one person to cardiovascular disease is too many.

February is American Heart Month, a month to spread awareness about the importance of heart health. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in Illinois, and the U.S.

While heart disease has been seen as a “man’s disease”' one in three women dies of heart disease each year. Women are also more likely than men to exhibit signs of heart attack such as shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting or back and jaw pain. Heart attacks are life and death emergencies where every second counts so we encourage people to know their risks. Factors that may increase your chances of getting heart disease include: High blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, Diabetes, being overweight, family history of early heart disease, age (55 or older for women), being physically inactive and smoking.

Some steps you can take to decrease risks of heart disease is to know your numbers when it comes to cholesterol and blood pressure. In addition, controlling weight, being physically active and decreasing stress level also can have added benefits.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, do not wait before calling for help. Call 911 or get to the hospital right away if you experience any of the following.

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Sudden dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Unusual upper body pain (arms, back, jaw)
  • Skipped heartbeats
  • Unusual or unexplained fatigue

For more information about heart disease, contact the La Salle County Health Department at 815-433-3366 or go to www.lasallecountyil.gov.