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[February 8,2008]

WEAR RED DAY OBSERVED AT SUNY DOWNSTATE

In support of women's heart disease awareness, faculty and staff at SUNY Downstate Medical Center recently dressed in red to celebrate National Wear Red Day. Downstate employees gathered in the lobby of University Hospital of Brooklyn for a group photo to commemorate the life-saving awareness movement.

Although most studies concerning heart disease in the United States have been geared towards men, it is women who are being diagnosed with heart disease and dying at a higher rate than men. In fact, more women die from heart disease each year than from all cancers combined.

“One in every three women have some form of heart disease,” noted Maria Yomtov, MSN, director of the Center for Community Health Promotion and Wellness.

Judith Mitchell, MD, director of SUNY Downstate’s Heart Failure Center and associate professor of medicine at Downstate, added, “50,000 more women die from heart disease than men.”

Downstate’s health professionals organized a health fair, where they administered more than 60 blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol screenings. Downstate employees also staffed information tables providing patients with health education on women’s health, smoking cessation, HIV/AIDS and more. There was also a demonstration of adult CPR.

During the fair, red dress pins and red bracelets were given to participants courtesy of the American Heart Association, while others donated money to help the fight against heart disease.

The fight against heart disease is personal for patient-educator Sarah Marshall, RN, many of whose family members have succumbed to heart disease. “I am an advocate for women’s heart health because my family legacy is connected to heart disease. As a result, I facilitate education and information to family and friends,” said nurse Marshall.

National Wear Red Day promotes unity in the life-saving fight against heart disease. It provides an opportunity for women to raise awareness by showing off their favorite red outfits; many men sport red ties. Thousands of advocates across the city, state and nation wore red to work and pledged donations on February 1, to help the American Heart Association support ongoing research and education about women and heart disease.

 

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