January 17 2011Heart disease is the No. 1 killer for women in Alaska and the United States. To help women take better care of their hearts, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) WISEWOMAN Women’s Health, Diabetes and Lifestyle Balance programs are joining millions of Americans in the celebration of National Wear Red Day on Friday, Feb. 4. In Juneau, the three SEARHC programs are teaming up to host “The Heart Truth” Red Food Potluck Luncheon at noon on Friday, Feb. 4, at the SEARHC Ethel Lund Medical Center Conference Room. Women and men are encouraged to bring their favorite heart-healthy red dishes (red salmon, red beans, tomatoes, cherries, strawberries, cranberries, etc.) and wear red clothes to this event. In addition to door prizes and a contest for the best healthy red food dish, Doreen Lingley-Nathlaang will speak about her experiences as a survivor of heart disease. Many women do not realize that one in two women will die of heart disease or stroke, while just one in 25 women will die of breast cancer. Heart disease kills more women than the next five leading causes of death, including all cancers combined. Heart disease also is the leading cause of death for people with diabetes. National Wear Red Day celebrations make women aware of this risk and give them the tools they need to lead healthier lives. Geared specifically for women, the symbol for Wear Red Day is the Red Dress pin. By wearing the pin or just by wearing red on Feb. 4, you send a message that you support women in their fight against heart disease. Women in Southeast Alaska can reduce their risk for heart disease by knowing their screening numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol levels, glucose levels, etc.) and working to keep those numbers in check. Also, small lifestyle changes can make a big difference in heart health, such as avoiding tobacco, eating healthy foods and being physically active for 30 minutes a day. For more information about this event, contact Sarah Paddock of the SEARHC Lifestyle Balance diabetes prevention program at 364-4459. To learn more about women and heart disease, call the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program at 364-4451 in Juneau or 1-888-388-8782 (toll-free in Alaska), or go to http://www.goredforwomen.org/wearredday/.