National Wear Red Day promoting women’s heart health

"We need to keep raising awareness"
Posted at 4:59 PM, Feb 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-03 19:07:46-05

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — The color red is an important symbol to remind us about cardiovascular disease, which remains the number one killer of women.

It's part of the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women, National Wear Red Day. Wearing red so we can raise awareness about the number one killer of women — heart disease.

According to the American Heart Association, one in three women die of heart disease.

“Heart disease is still women's number one killer in the United States and unfortunately a lot of women are still unaware of that,” remarked Lisa Neff, director, community impact, Buffalo Niagara American Heart Association.  

If you're wondering why so many women are dying from heart disease they might be missing or ignoring important symptoms that could lead to a heart attack.

Lisa Neff, director, community impact, Buffalo Niagara American Heart Association.  

“'I feel a level of exhaustion that I never felt before or hey my back— there's something pulling in there that I don't recognize and, oh, my heart, my chest hurts too,” explained Neff. “It can present as jaw pain, back pain, nausea — that's just a typical day for some women.”

Neff tells 7 News they are encouraging women to know the signs and symptoms.

American Heart Association.

Symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Arm numbness
  • Shoulder & back pain
  • Fatigue

Without recognizing the symptoms, it could lead to cardiac arrest just like what happened to Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin last month during Monday Night Football.  He was saved by CPR.  

Now Damar wants to save as many lives as possible and issued this social media #3forHeartCPR Challenge and is teaming up with the American Heart Association. 

Damar Hamlin's tweet about his challenge.

“And CPR could easily save your life or someone you love,” Hamlin stated.

Damar posted a social media video explaining his challenge.

Damar Hamlin puts out CPR challenge.

“Step one — go to heart.org/3 to watch a short video to learn hands-only CPR. Step 2 — donate to the AHA to fund CPR awareness and education and step 3 — challenge three friends to do the same,” described Hamlin. 

“Damar wants everyone to have the same chance at life that he had,” declared Nancy Brown, CEO, American Heart Association.

Nancy Brown, CEO, American Heart Association, appeared on GMA.

Brown appearing on ABC's Good Morning America says she traveled to Buffalo to meet with Hamlin. She noted 350,000 people suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year.

But women are less likely to receive CPR than men because some people fear it could be considered "inappropriate touching” or "sexual harassment”.

However, Neff says in saving a life you are protected under the Good Samaritan Law. 

Lisa Neff, director, community impact, Buffalo Niagara American Heart Association.  

“I want to put those fears aside for people — you're protected under the Good Samaritan Law, responded Neff. 

I asked Neff what we all need to do better when it comes to women's heart health. 

“We need to talk to each other. We need to talk to our friends. Our family. Our daughters. Our mothers. We need to keep raising awareness,” replied Neff.