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Our Story: For Women, By Women

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1 Our Story: For Women, By Women
Women go red Our Story: For Women, By Women CELEBRATING OUR 10TH YEAR OF WOMEN GOING RED Name of Presenter: Amy, 42, Heart Attack Survivor Rachel, 29, Heart Attack Survivor Rekisha, 34, Heart Transplant Recipient Lidia, 34, Heart Disease Survivor

2 is a movement rich with stories
Go Red For Women is a movement rich with stories Stories of the energy, passion, strength and, yes, the HEART of women. Stories of mothers, sisters, daughters and friends standing side by side in the fight for their lives. Stories of women who are rocked by a diagnosis, struggling with treatment, or emerging victorious to embrace life as never before. Stories of those who touched so many lives before they lost their own. Stories of doctors, nurses, researchers, volunteers and advocates fighting for stronger, swifter action for women’s health. And, of course, the story of heart disease itself: a killer that strikes more women than men, more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. We’d like to spend some time sharing these stories with you. And how, together, we are making the difference between life and death for women: yesterday, today and tomorrow.

3 Real Women’s stories that touch our hearts
For 10 years, thousands of women have graciously shared their personal stories with us about heart disease: the struggle, strength, survival and sometimes, loss. There are countless, courageous Go Red volunteers who will very honestly start by telling you how it used to be once upon a time, before they understood the risks of heart disease. Then they’ll tell you how things changed once they realized how much of a toll heart disease can take. Sometimes these stories make us laugh and sometimes they make us cry. But, most importantly, they ALWAYS make a difference. These stories have become the centerpiece of our movement to educate and motivate women to sit up, recognize the risks of heart disease and take action. Amy, 42, Heart Attack Survivor Rachel, 29, Heart Attack Survivor Rekisha, 34, Heart Transplant Recipient Lidia, 34, Heart Disease Survivor

4 Meet the 2013 Go Red Women Rekisha, 34, Heart Transplant Recipient Toni, 49 Lidia, 34 Heart Disease Survivor Mary, 31 Heart Disease Survivor Rachel, 29 Heart Attack Survivor Amy, 42 Heart Attack Survivor Christie, 51 Heart Attack Survivor Regan, 22 Kimberly, 50 Gail, 41 Stroke and Heart Attack Survivor Gail, Kimberly, Regan, Christie, Amy, Rachel, Mary, Lidia, Toni and Rekisha share their stories to help others avoid what they have gone through. And, it’s working.

5 Christie Thompson was one of the women who you just saw in the video
Christie Thompson was one of the women who you just saw in the video. Last year, her sister-in-law Kim forwarded her a short film that Go Red For Women produced. The film, entitled “Just a Little Heart Attack” was inspired by the true stories of real women and starred Emmy-nominated actress Elizabeth Banks. The film shares a glimpse into the seemingly normal routine of a busy mom caring for her family: preparing breakfast for her young children and loving husband; finishing the laundry; helping with homework; and getting an early start on her own busy work day. But, the morning is quickly turned on its side when Mom finds herself stumbling through her kitchen as she ignores the warning signs of a heart attack. Banks uses her comedic talent to charm the audience while, ultimately, delivering an invaluable message about the possible consequences for women who ignore their risk of heart disease. And, because of that humor, Christie remembered the message. Although the film didn’t seem to apply to her at the moment she watched it, a month later, when she felt a pain in her chest, she didn’t hesitate to call 911. She credits the film that was inspired by real women’s stories for saving her life. And, she was able to dance at her daughter’s wedding 3 weeks after a heart attack. Christie’s story:

6 Heart Disease Today in America
The Story of Women and Heart Disease Today in America Thankfully, Christie is alive today to tell her story. Unfortunately, too many millions of women are experiencing the same heart disease symptoms and don’t always know what to do.

7 Every minute a woman dies from heart disease.
Despite our work raising awareness about the cause and funds for scientific research and educational programs, one woman still dies from heart disease every minute.

8 More women die from heart disease than from all forms of cancer combined.
Every year heart disease kills more women than any other disease. More than all forms of cancer combined. And – now this statistic often surprises people –heart disease actually kills MORE women than men. Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease and the gap between men and women’s survival continues to widen.

9 women’s deaths in the United States are caused by heart disease.
Here are some numbers that might surprise you: Heart disease claims more than 422,000 women’s lives each year. While one in 31 women’s deaths is from breast cancer, one in THREE is from heart disease.

10 43 million women are living with heart disease.
More than 43 million women are living with heart disease as we speak. That’s today. But millions more are on track to develop it in the near future because of risk factors like obesity, physical inactivity, smoking and unhealthy eating habits. Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease. There are far too many women out there who simply haven’t gotten the message. They have not yet made the connection that the little decisions made in one moment and forgotten in the next can come back to haunt them years or decades later.

11 Know the facts What is heart disease? Why is it important?
What have we learned? What is a heart attack? Am I at risk? How can I prevent it? The heart of Go Red Taking action with Go Red

12 What is heart disease? Coronary Heart Disease High Blood Pressure
Heart Failure Valve Disease/ Rheumatic Heart Disease Diseases of Pulmonary Circulation Cardiovascular disease refers to the class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels (arteries and veins). While the term technically refers to any disease that affects the cardiovascular system, we usually speak of cardiovascular disease as related to atherosclerosis (plaque buildups in the arteries). [Source: Wikipedia –AHA Science approved] 12

13 What have we learned? Factors leading to heart disease can start in young women and develop over time. Heart disease can strike women at any age. Healthy lifestyle changes can prevent or postpone heart disease. 13

14 Why is it important? 64% of women who die suddenly from coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Cardiovascular disease may be prevented if women make the right choices for their hearts. Even more important to understand is the fact that heart disease may be prevented if you make the right choices for your heart now. This presentation will help you assess your risk of heart disease and take action to prevent it. (NCHS. Compressed mortality file: underlying cause of death, 1979 to 2004; 14

15 What is a heart attack? Know the Warning Signs Chest discomfort
Discomfort in upper body Shortness of breath Cold sweat Nausea Lightheadedness If you or someone you are with experiences these symptoms, call immediately. Heart Attacks A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart muscle is blocked, usually by a blood clot as shown in this image. If this clot cuts off the blood flow completely, the part of the heart muscle supplied by that artery begins to die. Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the "movie heart attack" where no one doubts what's happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are some signs of a heart attack: Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.    Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.    Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.   Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness        Heart attack and stroke are life-and-death emergencies — every second counts. If you see or have any of the listed symptoms, immediately call Heart Attack Warning Signs Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the "movie heart attack," where no one doubts what's happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening: [Source:

16 Am I at risk? If you have any of these risk factors, you are at risk for heart disease. Controllable Risk Factors High Cholesterol High Blood Pressure Physical Inactivity Obesity and Overweight Type 2 Diabetes Smoking Uncontrollable Risk Factors Increasing Age Heredity (family history) Race (members of some races, particularly African-Americans, are at higher risks) Several factors increase the risk of coronary heart disease and heart attack. The American Heart Association has identified several risk factors. Some can be modified, treated or controlled, and some can't. The more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing coronary heart disease. And, the greater the level of each risk factor, the greater the risk. Uncontrollable risk factors include: Increasing age Heredity or family history Race (members of some races, particularly African Americans, are at higher risk) Controllable risk factors include: High blood cholesterol High blood pressure Physical inactivity Obesity and overweight Diabetes Smoking We will spend some time learning more about these controllable risk factors and what you can do to lower your risks. (Source:

17 Your risk: High blood cholesterol
Total Cholesterol Level Desirable = Less than 200 Borderline High = 200 to 239 High = 240 and above About 46% of women have a total cholesterol of 200 mg/dL and above, which puts them at risk for heart disease. Cholesterol is a soft, fat-like substance found in the bloodstream and in all your body’s cells. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs. The saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol you eat may raise your blood cholesterol level. Having too much cholesterol in your blood increases your risk for heart disease and stroke. This happens because cholesterol and other fats can build up in the walls of arteries, narrowing the channel where the blood flows. If a narrowed artery gets blocked by a blood clot or other particle, the heart or brain loses its blood supply, resulting in a heart attack or stroke. You should have your cholesterol levels checked regularly (at least once every five years starting at age 20). Your total blood cholesterol level is one measure of risk. We have highlighted the desirable, borderline and high levels you need to be aware of. Total Blood Cholesterol Levels Less than 200 mg/dL = Desirable (lower risk) 200 to 239 mg/dL = Borderline high (higher risk) 240 mg/dL and above = High blood cholesterol (more than twice the risk as desirable level) It’s also important to understand that we have two sources of cholesterol: 1. HDL or high-density lipoprotein. HDL is “good” cholesterol because it seems to lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. Unlike other cholesterol levels, the higher your HDL, the better. HDL Cholesterol Risk Levels Less than 40 mg/dL for men Less than 50 mg/dL for women 2. The second source, LDL, stands for low-density lipoprotein. This is the main carrier of harmful cholesterol in your blood. A high level of LDL cholesterol means there’s a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. LDL Cholesterol Risk Levels Less than 100 mg/dL = Optimal for people with heart disease or diabetes 100 to 129 mg/dL = Near or above optimal 130 to 159 mg/dL = Borderline high 160 to 189 mg/dL = High 190 mg/dL and above = Very High Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in your body. They’re also a major energy source. They come from food, and your body also makes them. As people get older, gain excess weight or both, their triglyceride levels tend to rise. Triglyceride Risk Levels Less than 150 mg/dL = Normal 150 to 199 mg/dL = Borderline High 200 to 499 mg/dL = High 500 mg/dL and above = Very High This image illustrates the sources of cholesterol in your body and how each form of cholesterol contributes to our total cholesterol level. [Source: GRFW Know Your Risk Fact Sheet, Cholesterol and Tri-glycerides, Content approved by AHA Science 9/07]

18 Your risk: High blood pressure
Normal Blood Pressure = Below 120/80 Pre-Hypertension = /80-89 Hypertension = 140/90 or higher . High Blood Pressure, or hypertension, is a condition in which blood pressure levels are above the normal range. Blood pressures of mm Hg and/or mm Hg are considered prehypertension. Blood pressure is considered high if it is 140 mm Hg and/or 90 mm Hg or higher. High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because it increases the risk for heart attack, angina, stroke, kidney failure and peripheral artery disease (PAD). It may also increase the risk of developing fatty deposits in arteries (atherosclerosis). The risk of heart failure also increases due to the increased workload that high blood pressure places on the heart. No one knows exactly what causes most cases of high blood pressure. It usually can’t be cured, but it can be controlled. Not treating high blood pressure is dangerous. You can live a healthier life if you treat and control it! Some people are at higher risk of having high blood pressure. They include: • People with close blood relatives who have HBP • African Americans • People over age 35 • Overweight people • People who aren’t physically active • People who use too much salt • People who drink too much alcohol • People with diabetes, gout or kidney disease • Pregnant women • Women who take birth control pills and who are overweight, had HBP during pregnancy, have a family history of HBP or have mild kidney disease About 40 million women age 20 and older have high blood pressure. 20% of people with high blood pressure don’t know they have it.

19 Your risk: Physical Inactivity
Inactive women: White females – 54.9% Black females – 71.2% Hispanic females – 68.6% All healthy adults ages should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week or a combination of both. Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and most Americans are not physically active enough to gain any health benefits. Swimming, cycling, jogging, skiing, aerobic dancing, walking and many other activities can help your heart. Whether it's included in a structured exercise program or part of your daily routine, all physical activity adds up to a healthier heart. Regular, moderate-intensity physical activity can lower your risk of • Heart disease and heart attack • High blood pressure • High cholesterol • Overweight or obesity • Diabetes • Stroke [Source: Reviewed 10/7/07]

20 Your risk: Obesity and Overweight
Excess Weight: Strains your heart Raises blood pressure and cholesterol Can lead to diabetes About 40 million women are overweight and 31 million are obese, which greatly increases their risk for heart disease. Being overweight is another risk factor for heart disease. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke, even if they have no other risk factors. Excess weight puts more strain on your heart. It can raise blood pressure and blood cholesterol and can lead to diabetes. Losing weight is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of heart problems and other diseases. Prepare yourself by setting goals and deciding how to deal with potential roadblocks. It’s never wise to follow fad diets, starve yourself or try to lose weight too fast. Remember, you didn’t become overweight overnight. It’s important to make changes over the long term and not get discouraged by setbacks. Start by changing your eating habits and working physical activity into your daily routine. Keeping extra weight off can be as challenging as losing it. Many things will tempt you to go back to your old habits. It takes commitment to stick to your new, healthy lifestyle. Yet when you do, you may notice that you have greater self-control with food, feel stronger, have better eating habits and fewer mood swings, and are in better overall shape! [Source: GRFW Know Your Risk Fact Sheet, Overweight and Obesity, Content approved by AHA Science 9/07] 20

21 Your risk: Diabetes Complications of Diabetes Stroke, TIA Blindness
Heart attack, angina Kidney disease High blood pressure Loss of legs or feet People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. 10 million women 20+ have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, 2.7 million go undiagnosed and 33.4 million are pre-diabetic. Diabetes is also a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease. That means it can be as serious as smoking, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity or obesity. There are two forms of diabetes. Type 1, or juvenile diabetes, usually starts early in life. It results from the body’s failure to produce insulin. People with it must take insulin each day to regulate levels of blood glucose (sugar). Type 2 is the most common. It most often develops in middle-aged and older adults, and is often linked with obesity and physical inactivity. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body doesn’t make enough insulin and doesn’t efficiently use the insulin it makes. Who Gets Diabetes Diabetes is increasing. This is because more people are obese, don’t get enough physical activity and are getting older. However, many younger people are developing diabetes at an alarming rate. This is probably because obesity and lack of physical activity are increasing problems for this group, too. People in several ethnic groups seem to be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes: • Hispanics • African Americans • Native Americans • Asians (especially South Asians) If you have diabetes, it’s very important to have regular check-ups and work closely with your healthcare provider to manage your diabetes and reduce any other risk factors. Here are some steps you can take: • Control your weight and blood cholesterol with a low-saturated-fat, low-cholesterol diet. • If you take medicine, take it exactly as directed. Specific medicines may help you control your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose. Your doctor will advise you if one is right for you. If you have questions about the dosage or side effects, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Additional Talking Points on Diabetes: Insulin and Diabetes Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. This happens because the hormone insulin converts sugar and other food into energy and helps glucose get into our bodies’ cells. When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should, or both. This causes sugars to build up too high in your blood. [Source: GRFW Know Your Risk Fact Sheet, Diabetes, Content approved by AHA Science 9/07]

22 Your risk: Smoking Benefits of Quitting
Within 1 to 2 years of quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease is substantially reduced. Your sense of smell and taste come back. A smoker’s cough will go away. You breathe much easier. It is easier to be physically active. You are free of “needing” cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes is the most preventable major risk factor of our No. 1 killer — heart and blood vessel diseases. The long list of diseases and deaths due to smoking is frightening. Thousands of nonsmokers, including infants and children, are harmed by exposure to cigarette smoke. Even if you don’t smoke, you could become one of the smoking-related deaths every year. It’s never too late to quit! No matter how much or how long you’ve smoked, when you quit smoking, your risk of heart disease and stroke starts to drop. In time your risk will be about the same as if you’d never smoked. Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but it’s worth it! Quitting will drastically reduce your risk of developing heart and blood vessel diseases. It will also lower your chance of having lung disease and cancer. Most of all, quitting can save your life and the lives of nonsmokers around you.

23 What can I do to prevent heart disease?
Take ACTION and Lower Your Risk Eat a healthy diet low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium. Keep your weight under control. Control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Manage your blood sugar if you have diabetes. Get regular medical checkups and talk with your doctor about a prevention plan. Don’t smoke, and avoid tobacco smoke. Reducing Your Heart Disease and Stroke Risk You can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Here are some key steps you can take: • Eat a healthy diet low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and salt. • Keep your weight under control. Don’t smoke, and avoid other people’s tobacco smoke. • Lower your blood pressure if you need to. Treat high blood pressure if you have it. • Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes. • Get regular medical check-ups. • Follow your doctor’s orders for taking medicine. [Source: GRFW Know Your Fact Sheet, Heart Disease and Stroke, AHA Science Review complete 9/07]

24 The Story of Go Red For Women
Changing One Life at a Time Over 10 Years This is where, together, Go Red For Women and YOU come in. The Go Red For Women movement was borne for one reason: to raise awareness of heart disease as women’s No. 1 killer and to end this disease in our lifetimes. Across the country, in every state and every community women…and men like you give their time and effort to see our movement succeed. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are understanding that a big part of their job is to remember that heart disease isn’t a man’s disease only. Volunteers and influencers stand up and speak the message to bring attention to the cause. Tools, content and communities have been created to support women in staying heart healthy. Let’s take a look at Go Red For Women’s story.

25 2004 Only 34% Knew: Heart Disease Is The No. 1 Killer of Women
The story of Go Red For Women began 10 years ago. Surveys at the time showed that only 34% of women knew that heart disease was their No. 1 killer, and the majority of physicians did not know that heart disease kills more women than men. Go Red For Women set out to make a change.

26 Since 2004… Since 2004, we’ve built a movement. It started with a conversation that’s grown into a national dialogue. A way for women’s collective voice to be heard.

27 It Started with a Day The First National Wear Red Day®
The hallmark event of year one was the First National Wear Red Day Event, celebrated on the first Friday in February, when people everywhere came together to wear red and support the cause. The day has become an annual grassroots phenomenon and 25 million women have participated to date.

28 To Reach All Women Multicultural Efforts Began
In 2006 we launched our multicultural efforts, helping us broaden our outreach to all women. This evolved in 2009 to Go Red Por Tu Corazón, a bilingual program that helps Latinas and their families fight heart disease by offering tips and advice on eating better and moving more.

29 Across the Globe Go Red Goes Around the World
And, then we went across the globe. In 2006 we started Going Red all over the world, partnering with the World Heart Federation to spread our message to more than 65 countries.

30 Into Women’s Homes Go Red For Women Presents…
Untold Stories Of The Heart (2008) Speak Up To Save Lives (2009) Our Hearts. Our Choice (2010) With our movement growing, we began reaching millions through network and cable broadcasting with the first of three Go Red television specials. Each documentary with NBC brought the real faces of women with heart disease into living rooms across the country. And what has driven each has been our casting calls, where women tell their stories for the chance to be selected as national Go Red For Women spokespersons.

31 Into Doctor’s Offices Get with Guidelines
The American Heart Association established women-specific guidelines to teach healthcare providers to diagnose and treat women more effectively. The “Get with the Guidelines” program helps over 2,000 healthcare systems ensure the best possible care for women.

32 On Capitol Hill The Heart for Women Act
Go Red For Women drove The Heart For Women Act that lead to legislation requiring researchers to report how drugs and medical devices affect all women. Leading to research that explores women’s symptoms and responses to medications for better treatments and screenings that are saving lives.

33 Into Women’s Hearts Working with influencers of all kinds, we brought our message to women where they live and turned them into actionists who wanted to help us spread the word. You’ll see some famous faces on here (National Volunteer Star Jones, Hoda Kotb, Jennie Garth, Marie Osmond, Andie Macdowell, Cheryl Hines, Darryl Hannah, Toni Braxton, Sigourney Weaver), but it was their heart and passion for the movement that made its way into women’s hearts.

34 Women Are Re-Writing the Story for Themselves and Others
Over the past 10 years, the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement has been the driving force of heart health for millions of women.

35 54% 34% Women’s Awareness of Heart Disease as their No.1 Killer 2009
1997 A recently published study revealed that women’s awareness of heart disease as their number one killer rose from 34 percent in 1997 to 54 percent in 2009

36 Women who Go Red are more likely to make healthy choices
89% made at least one healthy change in their life: 61% began eating healthier. 54% started exercising. 43% checked their cholesterol. 37% lost weight. Women who have joined Go Red are making healthier choices. More than one-third have lost weight, more than half have increased their exercise, six of 10 have changed their diets and one-third have talked with their doctors about their heart health. Nearly 90 percent have made at least one healthy behavior change and 40 percent have checked their cholesterol levels.

37 10 1.5 million women have joined the movement
YEARS 1.5 million women have joined the movement 34% Fewer women are dying of heart disease each year 330 Fewer women are dying every day 23% More women are aware that heart disease is their No. 1 killer 627,000+ women’s lives have been saved In 10 years…. More than 1.5 million women are now a part of Go Red For Women and have signed up to learn more at 34% Fewer women are dying of heart disease each year. That means 330 fewer women are dying every day. 23% More women are aware heart disease is the No. 1 killer And most importantly, more than 627,000 women’s lives have been saved since the movement began almost 10 years ago.

38 Help Us Continue to Write a New Story Together
For 10 years, women have been fighting heart disease individually and together as part of the Go Red For Women movement. They have proudly worn red, shared stories of survival and begun to understand the truth about women’s hearts and how heart disease can be prevented. More than 627,000 women’s lives have been saved, but the fight is far from over. Now is the time to shout louder, stand stronger and demand change. It’s time to come together in a movement that is not just FOR women, but BY women. It’s time for women to Go Red. Here are some of the things that you can do.

39 Share your experiences on or Facebook.
Make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk for heart disease. Visit to learn about risk factors, lifestyle changes and more. Take action by volunteering. Find your local office at and see how you can get involved Share your experience. Go to or visit us on Facebook to share your healthy choices and connect with women who are speaking up for women’s heart health nationwide. Make a difference. Donate to help fund life-saving research and educational programs so desperately needed so that our daughters, sisters and mothers have a chance to fight the No.1 killer of women.  Think about a woman you know, and maybe there’s more than one, who has changed your life for the better. Think how devastated you’d be if you lost her. Give in honor or in memory of a woman you know who has been touched by heart disease (pause), give for all the women sitting here in the room today (pause), or give for yourself. Make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk for heart disease. Take the Go Red Heart CheckUp to find out your risk of having heart disease in the next ten years.  Find it at Visit to learn about risk factors, making healthy lifestyle changes and what you can do to help other women in the battle against heart disease. Take action. Visit to find your local American Heart Association office and see how you can get involved with Go Red For Women.

40 Because our health is non-negotiable, because women have the power to save lives, and because the best force for women is women. Together, we can end heart disease. Thank you Thanks for joining us today and taking part in this Go Red For Women activity. When you leave today, you’ll go armed with information that can help save lives – perhaps the life of someone you know. Thank you and Go Red! Women Go Red

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