Friday, May 7 the American Heart Association, AHA, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, held its 2021 Go Red for Women Digital Luncheon to support the fight to end heart disease and stroke. The premier event is designed to raise awareness of the number one killer of women: cardiovascular disease and funds to support research and education. This year’s event combined the Sacramento and Modesto communities to expand its reach and raised a total of $60,000. The Go Red for Women Digital Luncheon is sponsored nationally by CVS Health and locally by Sutter Health Heart & Vascular Institute.
The digital luncheon featured keynote speaker Emmy-award winning actress and Go Red for Women national ambassador Susan Lucci, an inspiring survivor story of Zoey Swanson, a young girl born with a congenital heart defect, discussions by local health experts, and more. To learn more about the 2021 Go Red for Women Digital Luncheon and how you can support women’s cardiovascular health visit SacramentoGoRedLuncheon.heart.org or ModestoGoRedLuncheon.heart.org.
With the evolving impact of coronavirus in communities across the country, many women are facing new challenges keeping them from their day-to-day activities. The Go Red for Women Luncheons nationwide moved to a digital platform to meet women where they are and prioritize the safety and well-being of guests and families during the COVID-19 public health crisis while continuing to spotlight the lifesaving work of the Association and the Go Red for Women movement.
“More work is needed to close gender and race disparity gaps when it comes to cardiovascular disease research and clinical trials participation. Of the female cardiovascular clinical trial participants globally, less than 3 percent represent black or African American women. Go Red for Women is working to close these gaps and I am proud to support this lifesaving movement,” said 2021 Sacramento Go Red for Women Chair Thomas Rhodes, Cardiovascular Services Administrative Director, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento.
“For too long women have been underrepresented, uncounted, undiagnosed, and untreated. Go Red for Women creates powerful solutions that ensure all women are aware of their leading cause of death and provides the tools and resources to treat, beat and prevent cardiovascular disease. I am proud to serve as the 2021 Modesto Go Red for Women Chair and support this lifesaving mission,” said Gino Patrizio, Chief Executive Officer for Sutter Health Memorial Medical Center.
While nearly 80 percent of cardiac events may be prevented, cardiovascular disease continues to be a woman’s greatest health threat. To prevent cardiovascular disease, women should understand family health history, know their numbers and make lifestyle changes like moving more, eating smart and managing their blood pressure. Risk factors that are within women’s control include smoking or vaping, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, poor diet, obesity/overweight and diabetes.
This year marks the 17th anniversary of the American Heart Association’s launch of the Go Red for Women Movement nationwide. Go Red for Women is rooted in raising awareness among women that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women around the world.
Heart disease is not just a problem for “older” men. Heart disease and stroke can affect a woman at any age. Research shows heart attacks are on the rise in younger women. Considerable progress has been made by the Association to increase awareness in 17 years, reaching tens of millions of women and health care professionals with lifesaving resources.
New findings from an American Heart Association special report published in September 2020 analyzing 10-year trends in women’s awareness that cardiovascular disease is their greatest health threat, show critical gaps in awareness among younger women. The trend is prevalent in women ages 25-34 and Black and Hispanics of all ages. Go Red for Women is calling for more to be done. There is an urgent need for public health organizations, government, health care professionals and community organizations to join forces and provide solutions to improve awareness, especially among young women and women of color.
Women continue to be disproportionally affected by cardiovascular diseases and underrepresented in clinical trials which is the lifesaving research needed to better treat heart attacks and strokes. There is considerably more understanding of the biological differences between men and women including disease progression and treatment response. While strides have been made to close gender and racial disparities in research and within the health care system, women continue to be underrepresented and overlooked in the U.S. and globally. To combat this, the American Heart Association and Verily’s Project Baseline launched Research Goes Red to encourage women to sign up and participate in clinical trials.
The American Heart Association’s signature initiative, Go Red for Women, is a comprehensive platform designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women globally.