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January 15, 2012

EmpiriStat is Seeing Red

February is American Hearth Month. The Heart Truth awareness effort which was kicked off this year on February 3, 2012 with the annual National Wear Red Day, is aimed at getting people, particularly women, to express their personal commitment to heart healthy lifestyles. The Heart Truth created and introduced the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease in 2002 to deliver an urgent wake-up call to American Women.

 

Heart disease kills more women than all cancers combined. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), today, nearly 43 million women are living with or are at risk for heart disease. Women who suffer from heart attacks are more likely to die from heart disease within a year than men, but are less likely to receive recommended care.
The Heart Truth campaign is sponsored in the United States by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. In Canada, a similar campaign is sponsored by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Former First Lady Laura Bush has been the ambassador for the Heart Truth since 2003. 
American Heart Month includes other efforts also. Launched in September 2011, also by the HHS, Million HeartsTM is a national initiative aimed to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years (2016). The public-private partnership, co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is integrating and amplifying a range of existing heart disease and stroke prevention programs, policies, and activities.
The American Heart Association suggests that individuals, in particular those without specific symptoms, consult with their physician to find out what tests should be taken. In a recent interview with news media, American Heart Association spokesperson Dr. Marissa Wood said that “If you do a test like a stress test in someone who doesn't have any symptoms, then you are more likely to get a false-positive test than a true positive” (Read more). False alarms could further trigger more unnecessary tests, which often carry significant risks.
For more information on National Wear Red Day/Go Red for Women, please check out http://goredforwomen.org/wearredday/.
For more information on the CDC’s efforts, please see http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/.



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