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    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | January 27th, 2019


    This Friday, I will be wearing red. It is National Wear Red Day. The hope is that one day we will be able to eradicate heart disease and strokes. Heart disease and stroke is the No. 1 killer in women, and stroke disproportionately affects African-Americans.  Heart disease and strokes will kill more women than breast cancer. Heart disease has claimed the lives of more women than men every year since 1984.

    Why GO RED this Friday1?

    G – Get your numbers – It is so important to know your numbers – height and weight (to calculate your body mass index), blood pressure, cholesterol, hemoglobin A1C. If any of these numbers are high, you are at risk for heart disease.

    O – Own your lifestyle – The only thing anyone can do is give you advice. You have to make the decision to stop smoking, lose weight, exercise and eat healthy. There are tools to help you. To quit smoking, call 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669). Regarding exercise, some movement is better than no movement.  Eating healthy – ‘Eat food, not too much, mostly plants2 – try to eat real food and not processed food.

    R – Realize your risk – There are risks you cannot change and there are those that you can. Being a woman especially a black woman, having a family history of heart disease or stroke, getting older (although young people can have heart disease) are risk factors you cannot change. You can make sure your blood pressure, weight, cholesterol level and diabetes are well controlled. You can quit smoking.

    E – Educate your family and your friends – It is never too early and never too late to make changes. If you are going to eat healthy, your children should eat healthy. Be the one at work volunteering to bring the healthy meals like salads or fruits during potlucks.

    D – Don’t be silent – When you are wearing red this Friday and someone ask you why – I hope you will tell them that heart disease is the #1 killer of women and we can all play a role in changing the stats – You can get your numbers, own your lifestyle, realize your risk and educate other people.

    1GO RED meaning highlighted came from

    2In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

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