( release) Mayor Paul A. Dyster and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center teamed up with the American Heart Association on Friday to raise awareness about heart disease as the number one killer of women during National Wear Red Day ceremonies at City Hall.
In the past, heart disease and heart attack have been predominantly associated with men, leaving women largely ignored. As a result, awareness of their risk of this often-preventable disease has suffered. According to the American Heart Association, only 55 percent of women realize heart disease is their No. 1 killer and less than half know what are considered healthy levels for cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol.
The Go Red for Women movement works to make sure women know they are at risk so they can take action to protect their health.
“The City of Niagara Falls is pleased to join with the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and the American Heart Association on National Wear Red Day,” Mayor Dyster said. “The wearing of red this February 4th is a meaningful community-wide gesture made in the face of a serious medical situation that calls for increased awareness and treatment of cardiovascular disease in women.”
Memorial Medical Center President Joseph A. Ruffolo noted that 38 percent of women compared to 17 percent of men die in hospitals after suffering a heart attack while the one-year mortality rate following a heart attack is 32 percent for women compared to 23 percent for men.
“Sadly, the death rate for both men and women in Western New York is 35 percent higher than the rest of the United States,” Ruffolo said. “That’s why Niagara Falls Memorial has made the prevention, treatment and reversal of heart disease its number one priority for the better part of the past decade and why Go Red for Women is so very important – not only to women, but to all of us who have mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces and other special women in our lives.”
Also speaking at Friday’s event were American Heart Association Corporate Events Director Ronald Tritto and cardiologist Eram Chaudhry, M.D., who emphasized that women need to be especially vigilant because they often exhibit warning signs of heart disease that are different from those in men – signs such as feeling tired even after getting enough sleep, trouble breathing or sleeping, or feeling sick to their stomach.
Following Friday’s event, members of the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center staff fanned out across the city to give Go Red for Women lunchtime awareness presentations and conduct health screenings at five Niagara County Stay Well Dining Program sites – Spallino Towers, Wrobel Towers, St. John AME Church, the John Duke Senior Center and the LaSalle Senior Center.
“Working together, we can save lives and improve the health status of an entire community,” Ruffolo said.