LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH
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 results of the survey show “while lupus affects an estimated 1.5 million people in the U.S. alone, 63% of Americans surveyed have never heard of or know little or nothing about this disease that has no cure. 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.
While it was promising that a significant percentage of Hispanics and African Americans surveyed indicated they were either very familiar or somewhat familiar with lupus, including 43% of Hispanic respondents and 54% of African American respondents, there are still considerable gaps in the understanding of lupus signs and symptoms which are crucial for early diagnosis.
To address this, the Foundation has an ongoing national lupus awareness and education campaign, Be Fierce. Take Control® that aims to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of lupus among Latino and African American women ages 18 – 25: a population at higher risk for the disease.” For more information visit www.lupus.org
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.”
This March, join The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. as we celebrate Women’s History Month. Congress first declared March as Women’s History month in 1987. Since then, every year there’s a Presidential Proclamation to announce the month and to honor women who have made a notable impact in history.
According to the National Women’s History Alliance, “In February 1980, President Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th 1980 as National Women’s History Week. In the same year, Representative Barbara Mikulski, who at the time was in the House of Representatives, and Senator Orrin Hatch co-sponsored a Congressional Resolution for National Women’s History Week 1981. This co-sponsorship demonstrated the wide-ranging political support for recognizing, honoring, and celebrating the achievements of American women.
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.
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