The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is encouraging the community to wear red Feb. 14 as part of American Heart Month.
“By wearing red, we want to get people recognizing, acknowledging and talking about risk factors associated with heart disease,” said Melissa Smith, LFCHD registered dietitian.
“Our hearts can’t survive without love or a healthy lifestyle, and many of us unfortunately know someone who has had heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in America, killing more than 600,000 people each year.”
While there are some risk factors you can’t control, such as age, gender, heredity, race and diabetes, there are risk factors for heart disease you CAN control, like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, exercise, obesity and stress.
“Kentucky is in need of this education according to a study from the Cabinet of Health and Family Services showing that only 15 percent of Kentuckians recognize signs and symptoms of heart disease, and 23 percent for stroke,” said Smith.
People can increase heart health awareness by getting the facts and knowing their ABCs:
•Appropriate Aspirin therapy for those who need it,
•Blood pressure control,
•Cholesterol management and
•Smoking cessation opportunities.