GOING RED FOR WOMEN
THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION IS committed to raising awareness about heart disease. Reducing the toll cardiovascular disease takes on women and their families is at the center of the AHA's Go Red For Women campaign.
Heart disease kills one woman — a wife, daughter, sister, friend — every minute (more than 500,000 each year). Stroke and heart disease kills more than 3,000 women annually in San Diego.
The 2012 Go Red For Women campaign is an opportunity to increase awareness and create an atmosphere to encourage women in San Diego to become heart-health champions.
The 12th annual San Diego Go Red For Women luncheon moves to a new location this year: the downtown Hilton San Diego Bayfront.
The event, chaired by Michelle Mueller, takes place on March 16, and begins with an expo, a silent auction and CPR training (10 a.m. to noon) and then culminates with a lunch and fashion show (noon to 1:30 p.m.).
For more information, contact Natalie King at 858-410-3834.
Circle Of Red
The Circle Of Red is society of women who have the passion and motivation to drive and influence change in the community regarding heart health. Circle of Red Women help support the mission of Go Red For Women by making a personal financial commitment to the movement.
Donations make a difference in the fight against heart disease by:
• Helping fund vital research and programs that fuel the development of medications, surgical innovations, treatments and preventative recommendations.
• Helping the AHA distribute critical patient information to healthcare provider offices.
• Supporting federal legislation aimed at improving the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of heart disease and stroke in women.
• Helping men and women learn CPR.
Circle Of Red Women
The San Diego Circle of Red members include:
Dr. Leslie Giesemann
For more information about Circle of Red, call Natalie King at 858-410-3834.
A Survivor's Story — And A Warning
By Ron Donoho
HOLLY G. GREEN SURVIVED A MASSIVE HEART attack a few years ago. At 46, the San Diego business consultant suffered a biggie, the type of cardiovascular event doctors refer to as "the widow maker."
Today, the CEO of The Human Touch in Ranch Peñasquitos is back on the road, traveling from city to city helping other companies achieve higher levels of performance.
She is alive, but admittedly, not because she did the right things when her health became an issue.
She was walking up the steps to a client meeting in Irvine, loaded down by a 22-pound backpack and a box of meeting materials. She felt a sharp and very brief pain in her upper back. Green sat down in a conference room, and the pain went away.
"I figured I'd hurt my shoulder carrying luggage," she says. "I did what most women do, I invalidated the possibility that it was something serious."
She worked on the road the rest of the day, had dinner and a glass of wine and went to bed at 10 p.m.
An hour later, she woke up with a deep, dull pain in her shoulder blades. She took Ibuprofen and want back to bed, but the pain kept waking her up. She paced around the hotel room. That alleviated some of the pain ... until the vomiting started.
With great hesitation,she cancelled her morning meeting, but then drove several hours back to San Diego.
"I thought I just needed fluids after throwing up all night," says Green. "And yes, I decided to go to the Urgent Care, but I didn't want to go to an out-of-town hospital."
Urgent Care sent her by ambulance to Scripps La Jolla Hospital. That night, a cardiologist had to insert three stents into the left side of her heart.
Green, a polished speaker, is now an advocate for women's health issues. She recites the numbers: "One in three women die of heart disease, and only about 21 percent view it as any sort of health risk."
She says there's no excuse for ignoring danger signs.
"We're all so busy, but that's a pretty stupid excuse for ignoring symptoms like I did," says Green. "Get a clue. Definitely don't do as I did."
For more information, go to goredforwomen.org.
Heart Attack: Warning Signs for Women
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense. But most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often, victims aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are some signs to be aware of:
Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involved discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
Shortness of breath: This may occur with or without chest discomfort.
Other signs. Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
As with men, the most common heart attack symptoms for women are chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and back or jaw pain.
If you or someone you are with has chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the other signs, don't wait longer than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1.
If you're the one having symptoms, and you can't access emergency medical services, have someone drive you to the hospital right away. Don't drive yourself, unless you have absolutely no other options.
U.S. Heart Disease Costs Could Triple By 2030
the cost to treat heart disease in the United States will triple by 2030, according to panel findings published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
"Despite successes in reducing and treating heart disease, even if we just maintain our current rates, we will have an enormous financial burden on top of the disease itself," says Paul Heidenreich, M.D., chair of the AHA panel.
The panel estimated future medical costs based on the current rates of disease and used census data to adjust for anticipated population shifts in age and race.
"These estimates don't assume that we will continue to make new discoveries to reduce heart disease," Heidenreich says. "If our ability to prevent and treat heart disease stays where we are right now, costs will triple in 20 years just through demographic changes in the population."
Unhealthy behaviors and environments have contributed to a tidal wave of risk factors, says AHA CEO Nancy Brown. "Early intervention and evidence-based public policies are absolute musts to reduce alarming rates of obesity, hypertension, tobacco use and cholesterol levels," she says.
Currently, 1 in 3 Americans (36.9 percent) have some form of heart disease, including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke and other conditions. By 2030, approximately 116 million people in the United States (40.5 percent) will have some form of cardiovascular disease, the panel predicts.
Between 2010-30, the cost of medical care for heart disease (in 2008 dollar values) could rise from $273 billion to $818 billion.
Heart disease will also cost the nation billions more in lost productivity, increasing from an estimated $172 billion in 2010 to $276 billion in 2030.