National Wear Red Day: Perspectives on Women's Cardiovascular Health

Two experts offer perspectives on the importance and state of cardiovascular health in women.

According to reports by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, accounting for 1 in every 5 female deaths.

Celebrated on the first Friday in February, National Wear Red Day aims to raise awareness for disease among women as well as the risks factors leading to it.

In separate interviews, HCPLive® spoke with Holly Andersen, MD, Attending Cardiologist and Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Abha Khandelwal, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Stanford University, about their perspectives on the importance of this campaign.

“Unfortunately, deaths due to heart disease have been increasing in the last couple of years, especially among younger women,” said Andersen. 

“That is upsetting to me as a cardiologist, because 80% of cardiovascular deaths are pretty much preventable,” she continued. “So, we have to be doing a better job, and we have to be getting more messaging out to women to take care of themselves, especially during this incredibly stressful year.”

Andersen and Khandelwal discussed the state of ongoing research as well as the current gaps in research and care that still need to be addressed.

They also offered advice to clinicians and patients alike in regard to patient care and self-advocacy.

“We really need to know our numbers, we need to be our own advocate” Khandelwal said. “We really need to take the time to maintain our health and start early, so that we can be a model for future generations — and hopefully start bending this curve.”