Women Veterans Health Care
VA Goes Red 2014
February 2014 is American Heart Month. Women’s Health Services (WHS) is proud to collaborate with the American Heart Association (AHA) to bring awareness and knowledge to women Veterans, their families and caregivers about heart disease and stroke.
Weekly Heart Health Tip
A healthy lifestyle leads to a healthy heart. For tips on how to live heart healthy click here.
On February 7, 2014, VA will participate in National Wear Red Day® by asking Veterans and VA staff to wear RED in support of heart health. On this day, WHS will host a national VA Goes Red event to highlight the importance of a healthy lifestyle for women’s heart health.
Why is Heart Health important?
Heart disease is the number one cause of death of women. It kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. In the United States, a woman dies of a heart attack, stroke or another form of cardiovascular disease every minute. Approximately one out of every three women experiences some form of cardiovascular disease, and most of those cases are preventable by leading a heart-healthy lifestyle.
How can you achieve a heart-healthy lifestyle?
The best way to prevent heart disease is to live a healthy lifestyle. You can reduce the chances of heart disease through a healthy diet and exercise and quitting smoking if you’re a current smoker. Managing stress and limiting alcohol consumption can also help keep you healthy. In partnership with your health care provider, you should discuss your risk for heart disease, have your cholesterol and triglycerides checked, and know your blood pressure levels. These simple steps can help prevent heart disease.
For more information on ways to achieve and sustain heart health, VA offers a wide array of programs for women Veterans. These include:
- My HealtheVet https://www.myhealth.va.gov/index.html
National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
- Healthy Living Messages http://www.prevention.va.gov/
- MOVE! Weight Management Program http://www.move.va.gov/
- Tobacco & Health Program http://www.publichealth.va.gov/smoking/
How do you treat heart disease and what are risk factors for getting heart disease?
Only your health care provider can determine the best method of treatment for heart disease. The course of treatment will depend on the type and severity of heart disease. Potential treatments may include lifestyle changes, medicines, cardiac rehabilitation, or surgical procedures. Smoking, high LDL cholesterol, and high blood pressure are the key risk factors for heart disease. Forty-nine percent of Americans have at least one of these risk factors. There are other medical conditions that put women at a higher risk for heart disease including:
- Overweight and obesity
- Poor diet
- Physical inactivity
Why is VA Going Red for Women? What does it mean?
VA is committed to empowering women Veterans to live a heart healthy lifestyle. In coordination with the AHA, VA is Going Red for Women to highlight the importance of women’s heart health. The Go Red campaign stands for:
- Get Your Numbers: Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Own Your Lifestyle: Stop smoking, lose weight, exercise and eat healthy.
- Realize Your Risk: We think it won’t happen to us but heart disease kills 1 in 3 women.
- Educate Your Family: Make healthy food choices for you and your family. Teach your kids the importance of staying active.
- Don’t Be Silent: Tell every woman you know that heart disease is the No. 1 killer. Raise your voice at GoRedForWomen.org.
Please join the AHA and the WHS in celebrating American Heart Month, and support our commitment to keep women Veterans healthy.
- Basic information from Center for Disease Control and Prevention about heart disease to include signs and symptoms: http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/about.htm*+
- Facts about heart disease and women from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_women_heart.htm*+
- Information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on treatment of heart disease: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hdw/treatment.html*+
- Information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on women and heart disease: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hdw/*+
- The AHA Go Red for Women campaign website https://www.goredforwomen.org/*+ has survivor stories and helpful tips on how to live heart healthy.
- For tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle visit the VA National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at http://www.prevention.va.gov/index.asp
- Quitting smoking is one of the best ways to improve your heart health. Call the quitline today at 1-855-QUIT-VET to talk with a counselor and develop a quit plan. Learn more about VA smoking resources at http://www.publichealth.va.gov/smoking/
VA Goes RED! Poster
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