Caregivers should remember to care for themselves. American Heart Month is a good reminder to check your own heart health to ensure you remain healthy and able to enjoy life to the fullest.

Cardiovascular diseases and stroke cause ONE in THREE women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds. When we looked at that statistic and thought of all the women we know at Signposts Ministries, it stopped being a time frame example. It is a snapshot of life in 2018 and a reason that the American Heart Association continues to foster February as American Heart Month.

Nearly 1.3 million Americans (men & women, Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, etc. — this disease knows no color or ethnic barrier) have some form of congenital heart defect. That includes nine of every 1,000 infants born each year having a heart defect.

Heart-related disease is the No. 1 mortality factor in the world and the leading cause of death in the United States, killing over 375,000 Americans a year.

And, heart diseases / stroke are the #1 cause of death in North Carolina.

Sobering information.


But there is good news. Just last week in Los Angeles, a study funded by the Midwest Affiliate of the American Heart Association, revealed promising data. By providing training to emergency medical technicians (EMT) for a revised “finger-to-nose” test, the recognition of possible stroke involving the circulation at the back of the brain almost doubled!

After training including the updated “finger-to-nose” test, EMTs recognized 12 of 16 (75%) posterior strokes, compared with 9 of 26 (38%) in the 12 months prior to training. The change? The patient alternates touching their own nose and the examiner’s finger. This kind of dexterity action can be impaired in posterior stroke.

What can you do?

National Wear Red Day is held on the first Friday in February (Feb. 2nd this year) to not only colorfully publicize the month of heart-related activities, but to promote actions that women and men can take to prevent the disease from going unchecked.

GGET YOUR NUMBERS – get blood pressure and cholesterol checked

OOWN YOUR LIFESTYLE – Stop smoking, lose weight, exercise, and eat healthy.

RREALIZE YOUR RISK –  We think it won’t happen to us, but it does

EEDUCATE YOUR FAMILY – Make healthy food choices for you and your family.

DDON’T BE SILENT – Tell every woman you know that heart disease is our No. 1 killer.

And why red? It’s the color of our hearts.

For more information or to see how you can help, contact Signposts Ministries at 704-219-8981 or the Charlotte branch of the American Heart Association at 704-417-5751.

This article was written by Anthony Scialis, Content Writer for Customer Engagement Specialist. You can follow Anthony on LinkedIn, Twitter, or find him blogging about social media marketing on WordPress.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash