February is Heart Disease Awareness Month and, if you are unaware of the facts and statistics surrounding the disease, now is a good time to educate yourself.
Every year, heart disease kills more people than all forms of cancer combined. That means if lung cancer, colon cancer, and all those other big, scary “C” words joined together and formed Voltron, it still wouldn’t be nearly as deadly as heart disease. And while heart disease has typically been considered a men’s disease, more women than man have died from heart disease since 1984.
As an African-American and as a woman, I should be particularly afraid of heart disease. Not only is it the number one cause of death among black, white, and Hispanic women, but in 2008, heart disease was prevalent among 47.3 percent of black women. Let that number sink in. 47. 3 percent. Nearly half of black women are suffering from heart disease. That’s scary.
Fortunately, heart disease is pretty preventable, and lifestyle changes can lower your risk. While some factors, such as age and heredity, can’t be controlled, cutting down on alcohol, changing your diet, and getting more exercise can help cut your risk.
Anyway, since I wrote about heart disease for Healthline last year, everything I learned in my research stuck with me, hence why I feel more motivated to recognize the disease and do my part to spread awareness. So, I signed up to place a badge for Luvvie’s Red Pump Project on my website, and you can see that badge in my sidebar. (Side note: If you are unfamiliar with AwesomelyLuvvie.com, you need to visit it right now and see what you’re missing. She is amazing and hilarious.) I also signed up to donate a tweet per day to the Red Pump Project, which you can learn more about here.
However, I feel like I could (and should) be doing more, so I’m thinking of ways I can further help spread awareness. Suggestions are more than welcome, and you can leave them in the comments below.