Go Red for Your Heart

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February is Heart Month, and the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign wants women to love their hearts.

Camden Clark Medical Center got into the spirit Friday with a luncheon attended by much of the female staff.

"It's very important to continue to raise awareness of women about the incidence of heart disease," says Allison Maher, director of cardiovascular services.

Heart problems are usually chronic and don't just show up suddenly.

"Often heart disease in women develops over a long period of time and they are not even aware that they are at risk," Maher says.

There's a difference in heart disease between the sexes, starting with the symptoms.

"The neck, the shoulder, the jaw; shortness of breath is a big symptom for women that there is something going on," Maher says.

Talk to your doctor.

"Make sure that I had open discussion with my physician as to what my risk factors are," Maher says.

Take care of yourself and make healthy changes.

“Lifestyle change is important for every woman, good eating habits, keeping your weight down, but there are some risk factors that can't be changed," Maher says. "One of the big things is: don't smoke.”

Stop lighting up; your heart and the rest of your body will thank you.

"By not smoking or stopping smoking, you can reduce your risk of death by 50 percent. It's better than any medication that we can do," says Chris Miller, interventional cardiologist.

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