MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – She could be your mother, your sister, your daughter, your neighbor. As the leading killer of women in the United States, cardiovascular disease claims the life of one American woman every minute. In fact, heart disease causes more deaths each year than cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and accidents combined. February is Women’s Heart Health Month, which always kicks off with National Wear Red Day. This year, area women will gather at noon Friday, Feb. 1, at West Virginia University’s Erickson Alumni Center for the “Women, Love Your Heart” luncheon, a celebration of women’s heart health.

“It’s often wrongly perceived as a man’s disease, but heart disease is the number one killer of women,” Bradford Warden, M.D., director of the WVU Heart Institute and the event’s keynote speaker, explained. “Still, the more women know, the better prepared they will be to make the healthy choices and lifestyle changes that can make a huge difference. We hope women will walk away from this luncheon feeling empowered to take charge of their own health. ”

Approximately 100 women are expected to don their red for the event, where they will enjoy a delicious heart healthy lunch and learn about the ways cardiovascular disease affects them differently than men. Attendees will also hear the personal stories of women in their communities who have survived and continue to battle heart disease every day. Special guests in attendance will include 2012 Miss West Virginia Kaitlin Gates and representatives from the WVU women’s basketball team.

February’s Women, Love Your Heart events were made possible through the collaboration of WVU Healthcare and the WVU National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health.

“For the past seven years, the Center of Excellence and the WVU Heart Institute have been working to bring the heart health message by offering free education and health screenings to women,” Betty Critch, WVU Center of Excellence executive director, said. “’Women, Love Your Heart’ events celebrate the energy, passion and power we have as women to band together to wipe out heart disease and stroke.”

As part of this year’s Women’s Heart Health month observance, the “Women, Love Your Heart” education and screening event will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2 at the WVU Heart Institute. Free health screenings for women include: blood pressure, glucose/cholesterol (fasting is not required), EKG, carotid Doppler, body mass index and American Heart Association risk assessment. There will also be educational sessions addressing nutrition, oral health and exercise, resource counseling and personal pharmacy consultations. All attendees are asked to bring a list of their medications and supplements, and blood tests will be limited to the first 300 participants.
For more information: Leigh Limerick, Communications Specialist, 304-293-7087
lal: 01-29-13