Canada observes Heart Month in February every year as a time to highlight the importance of cardiovascular health and to advocate healthy lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of heart disease. Cardiovascular disease, or heart disease, is the world’s number one cause of death. This month, take the time to get familiar with your risk factors and take the next step towards a stronger heart.
Did you know?
Heart disease is the leading cause of premature death for women in Canada.
- Early heart attack signs are missed in 78 per cent of women
- Every 20 minutes a woman in Canada dies from heart disease
- Five times as many women die from heart disease than breast cancer
- Two-thirds of clinical research on heart disease focuses on men
- Women who have a heart attack are more likely to suffer fatal outcomes or experience a second heart attack compared to men
Women’s heart attack symptoms are often different from men’s and it’s important to never ignore your symptoms and never delay getting help. Symptoms of heart attacks in women to look out for include:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Pain in your back, neck, jaw or arm
- Stomach pain
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual fatigue
Some cardiac risk factors are within your control, so talk to your doctor to know what your risk factors are and keep on top of your heart health.
What you can do to bring awareness to heart disease
During February, there is a lot of focus on love, and we should start by prioritizing loving ourselves first. A woman’s overall risk of heart disease or stroke is determined by her risk factors. Most women in Canada have at least one risk factor, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other lifestyle factors. This month, challenge yourself to take the time to address some of your risk factors by setting up a doctor’s appointment; checking your blood pressure; completing blood work; walking or doing physical activity; or learn a new healthy recipe. Make yourself a priority first and learn about your own risk factors.
Wear Red on February 13
Wear Red Canada is running its annual Her Heart Matters campaign on February 13, and WCH’s cardiology department will be joining them in wearing red and they encourage everyone at Women’s to do the same. By wearing red on February 13, you can help bring awareness to this important campaign and remind women to take control of their heart health.
Wear Red Canada Movement Challenge
WCH’s Cardiology Department is also taking part in We Wear Red’s Movement Challenge from February 13 – 28. Get active and help raise awareness for women’s heart health! To participate, register with WCH’s team and track your physical activity from February 13 – 28 to help them achieve their goal of accumulating a total of 10 km walked or ran. Participants who register online will get a Movement Challenge kit that includes:
- Wear Red Canada branded t-shirt (you can wear it at the hospital on February 13!)
- And certificate of achievement
How do you participate? Track your activity in either distance or time, either 5km or 10 km, or 30 minutes or 60 minutes of physical movement. You don’t have to do it all at once. Track your progress towards your goal!
Put your cardiology knowledge to the test this month with our heart-themed Wordles! Every Monday in Connect throughout February, there will be a new Wordle that will test your heart knowledge. See how many you can get right!