Illinois to wear red for heart disease awareness - – Rockford’s News Leader

Illinois to wear red for heart disease awareness


Friday, February 1 kicks off American Heart Month and Illinois is joining states around the country in wearing red to increase awareness.

Heart disease and stroke cause one in three deaths in the United States, equaling 2,200 deaths each day. It is also the number one killer of both men and women. For American Heart Month, the Illinois Department of Public Health is warning the public of the signs of heart disease and reminding them it can affect people of all ages and ethnicities.

While some risk factors for heart disease are out of a person's control, like family history or age, risk factors that can be controlled include:

  • High blood cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking

Besides risk factors, it is imperative to be aware of the warning signs of cardiovascular disease. If you or someone you know experiences the following symptoms, 911 should be called right away:

  • Heavy chest pressure or pain
  • Sharp pain in the neck, back, and jaw
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Cold sweats
  • Unusual or unexplained fatigue
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Unexplained nausea or vomiting

However, the following methods can help prevent heart disease and a trip to the hospital:

  • Eating a healthy diet consisting of plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Not smoking
  • Limiting alcohol use

The state hopes that increased awareness will also help prevent the rise of heart disease in Illinois. State buildings will be lit in red each night during the month of February. The IDPH is also encouraging residents to wear red on Friday, February 1, National Wear Red Day, to raise awareness.

Heart disease and stroke hospitalizations costing the country over $444 billion in health care expenses and lost productivity in 2010.



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