VA goes red for support women’s heart health

Each February, VA partners with the American Heart Association to raise awareness of the risks and prevention of heart disease for women across VA.

“Nearly 1- in-3 women are impacted by heart disease or stroke. In fact, more women die from heart disease and stroke than cancer,” says Dr. LaToya J.M. Harris, program analyst, for VA’s Women’s Health Services. “Go Red for Women encourages us to discuss the issue of women and heart disease, and also to take action to save more lives.”

In early February, we at VA Central Office  celebrated in a big way – complete with activities facilitated by VA’s Veterans Canteen Service and federal occupational health organizations with important lessons on wellness.

Gail Harris-Berry, a survivor who experienced her first heart incident when she was just 46, gave us a sobering first-hand account of how symptoms may present differently in women than in men: women are more likely to experience an uncomfortable pressure in their chest, shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain, to name a few symptoms.

All were impressed to learn about the practical ways in which we can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by choosing healthier foods and cooking methods; working out for just minutes daily; and knowing the impact of our behavior on the status of our health.

Let’s empower each other to Go Red for Women – and make sure you share what you learn, too! For more information, check out this site or cardiologist Dr. Shyla T.