FEBRUARY IS AMERICAN HEART MONTH
This year, as our hearts fill with pride while we celebrate Black History Month, let us also remember to focus on our heart health. And not just on Valentines Day – the entire month of February is American Heart Month.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States and certain minority groups face a greater risk than others. Deaths from heart disease are higher in Black Americans than in White Americans and other ethnic groups, and heart disease develops at a younger age in African Americans. Nearly half of all African American women have some form of heart disease, and even in middle and upper-class communities, the rate of heart disease is still higher among Blacks than Whites.
The most common conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and stroke among Black Americans are high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Nearly 1 in 3 adults in the United States has high blood cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. High blood cholesterol can be hard to detect, as it often shows no signs or symptoms.”
But, heart disease can often be prevented when people know their risks, make healthy choices and manage their medical conditions. So this month, learn the signs and symptoms and the steps you can take to make a difference in your life and the lives of your loved ones at https://www.goredforwomen.org
In honor of Lupus Awareness Month, the Lupus Foundation of America released a new survey they recently commissioned which reveals the need for better public understanding of this devastating autoimmune disease and why early diagnosis is so important.
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, “The survey sample was designed to be reflective of the U.S. population’s diverse demographics. Women of color are at two to three times greater risk for developing lupus than Caucasian women. However, over half of respondents (62%) didn’t recognize that minority populations were disproportionately impacted by lupus.
Minority women tend to develop lupus at a younger age, experiencing more serious complications and have higher mortality rates. This was reflected among minority respondents who indicated they were also more worried about developing the disease than others surveyed: 44% compared to 29% of the sample overall.”
This April, join The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. in celebrating National Minority Health Month. This year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH) will join partners in raising awareness about the important role an active lifestyle plays in keeping us healthy. Their theme for the 2019 observance is Active & Healthy, which will “allow OMH and minority health advocates throughout the nation to emphasize the health benefits of incorporating even small amounts of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity into our schedules.
The Black Women’s Agenda recently hosted a summit themed, “I Am the Change: Living Your Best Life at Every Age,” at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. Sponsored by AARP and featuring leading experts in the fields of health, education, and economic security, the event focused on the importance of health and wellness in the aging process.
“Too often black women are focused on everyone and everything except themselves,” said panel moderator Dr. Rockeymoore Cummings. “Our concern for and work on behalf of our families and communities competes with our ability to implement self-care strategies that support our physical, emotional, spiritual, and socioeconomic wellbeing.”