Going Red this Weekend? Central New Yorkers Raise Awareness for Cardiovascular Disease in Women

Feb 2, 2018

Two hearts on the Clinton Square ice rink on Go Red for Women Day. Local American Heart Association Spokesperson Kristy Smorol.
Credit John Smith / WAER News

It’s National ‘Go Red for Women Day’ and aside from Central New Yorkers wearing red, you might have noticed many of the buildings around the City of Syracuse lit-up in red to raise awareness and funds to fight cardiovascular disease.  According to the American Heart Association, only 17 percent of women consider heart disease to be the greatest health problem in America today.  Local spokesperson Kristy Smorol is determined to defeat the number one killer of women.

“Today is specifically about women; we want women to pay attention to their own heart health.  So often they’re taking care of their families, they’re busy with work.  They just don’t take the time to really think about their own health, and many women don’t realize that heart disease is their greatest health threat.”        

Cardiovascular disease kills one woman about every 80 seconds, but the good news is the disease is 80 percent preventable with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and staying away from smoking.  While heart issues affect men as well, Smorol notes that women have different symptoms when it comes to heart attack warning signs.

Pictured L-R: Deputy County Executive for Human Services Ann Rooney, AHA/ASA advisory board chairman Jim Jerose, Mayor Ben Walsh, Go Red For Women Chairwoman Evelyn Carter.
Credit American Heart Association of CNY

“As a man, you might see that typical Hollywood heart attack where they clutch their chest and fall over.  For a woman, it might be more like flu-like symptoms.  Women still do get that chest pain and pressure and discomfort, but it might be the other symptoms that we need to pay attention to as well.”                   

Those other symptoms include sweating, nausea, and shortness of breath along with jaw, back, and neck pain.  ‘Go Red for Women Day’ encourages women to seek-out their family history regarding cardiovascular disease and take control of their health.  Smorol says many businesses are holding several events around Central New York today, like dress-down day and potlucks, to raise awareness of this critical issue.  To learn more about Go Red for Women day, click here.