For Immediate Release
January 31, 2008

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Kansans Urged to Wear Red for Women on Feb.1

The American Heart Association (AHA) and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) hosted a joint news conference Thursday in the State Capitol to encourage all Kansans to wear red on Friday to show their support for the fight against heart disease in women.

“I encourage everyone to wear red to promote awareness about the impact of heart disease on women in Kansas and across the nation,” said Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of KDHE. “In 2006, nearly 25 percent of deaths among females in Kansas were due to heart disease. Two out of three women who die from heart disease have no previous evidence of the disease.”

Speakers at the event included Bremby, AHA Regional Vice President for Advocacy Kevin Walker, Senator Vicki Schmidt and Sister Rose Marie Stallbaumer, a heart attack survivor living in Kansas.

Risk for heart disease depends upon family and personal health history and the treatment recommendations from a physician will depend on a woman’s level of risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following lifestyle modifications for all women:

“We know that prevention of heart disease begins with not smoking and reducing your exposure to second-hand smoke, getting regular physical activity and maintaining healthy eating habits,” stated Walker.

Each year, more women die from heart disease than from the next five leading causes of death combined. In 2006, heart disease alone was the leading cause of death for all Kansas residents. More than half (54 percent) of all heart disease and stroke deaths among Kansas residents occurred in women in that same year.