Why Women with Migraine Should Go Red Feb. 3

We’ve discussed that having migraine, especially migraine with aura, increases our risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. Hopefully, you took it to heart (pun fully intended) when I said that these increased risks aren’t reason for panic. They are, however, reason to educate ourselves and to work with our doctors to reduce our modifiable risk factors. They’re also a good reason for us to observe National Wear Red Day, which falls on Friday, Feb. 3, in 2017.

As a heart attack survivor, it’s especially important to me to share information with you and encourage you to take care of yourself.

This year’s National Wear Red Day, Feb. 3, 2017, will mark 15 years since the first National Wear Red Day, which was first observed to bring national attention to the fact that heart disease is the #1 killer of women, and to raise awareness of women’s heart health.  Tremendous strides have been made since then, including:

  • Nearly 90 percent of women have made at least one healthy behavior change.
  • More than one-third of women have lost weight.
  • More than 50 percent of women have increased their exercise.
  • Six out of 10 women have changed their diets.
  • More than 40 percent of women have checked their cholesterol levels.
  • One third of women have talked with their doctors about developing heart health plans.
  • Today, nearly 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke each day.
  • Death in women has decreased by more than 30 percent over the past 10 years.

Here are some things every woman should know:

  • Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing one in three deaths each year. That’s approximately one woman every minute!
  • The warning signs of hear disease are different in women than in men.
  • Heart disease is a killer that strikes more women than men, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. While one in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, heart disease claims the lives of one in three. That’s roughly one death each minute
  • Sixty-four percent of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms.

Knowing our numbers:

There are four numbers we should all know and track with our doctors. The are:

  • blood pressure,
  • glucose (blood sugar) level,
  • cholesterol, and
  • body mass index (BMI).

Here’s a video with more information about knowing our numbers:

Heart disease, heart attack, and reducing our risk factors are so vitally important for women with migraine to understand that I want to share two additional videos with you:

There are too many times when we feel helpless about health issues, and I fully understand how that happens and how difficult it can be to feel empowered. Despite having had a heart attack, I’m still here to tell you that we don’t have to feel helpless – about migraine OR heart disease. There are many things we can do to help ourselves. I hope you’ll schedule a well woman visit with your doctor to discuss your risk factors for heart disease, and how you can work to reduce them to live a longer, healthier life.


Sources:

Behind National Wear Red Day. GoRedForWomen.org.

Facts About Heart Disease in Women. GoRedForWomen.org.

Common Myths About Heart Disease. GoRedForWomen.org.

Know Your Risk. GoRedForWomen.org.
 

More helpful articles:

Migraine with Aura Linked to Cardiovascular Disease in Women

Gene Linked to Migraine and Increased Stroke Risk

Migraine Linked to Higher Perioperative Stroke Risk
 

Reviewed by David Watson, MD.

© Teri Robert, 2017.


Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate in the area of migraine and other headache disorders, and has been writing for the HealthCentral migraine site since 2007. She is a co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association. She received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award for “ongoing patient education, support, and advocacy” in 2004 and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society in 2013. You can find links to Teri’s work on her web site and blog and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.
 

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