LANSING, Mich.—State Senator Margaret O’Brien, state Senator Tonya Schuitmaker and the American Heart Association hosted an event on Thursday in the Capitol rotunda to promote the association’s “Go Red for Women” initiative.
Go Red for Women is a national movement, created by women, for women, that is dedicated to increasing awareness of heart disease—the number one killer of women in the U.S. The event is in conjunction with American Heart Month, which occurs every February.
“Too many families are affected by heart disease every year,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “One woman dies every minute in the U.S. of the disease. Improving research and encouraging preventative measures can help ensure we keep women and families safe.”
“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women in the United States, over all types of cancer combined,” said O’Brien, R-Portage. “Women are more likely to die from heart disease than men. We must increase awareness of the disease among women and advocate for more funding.”
It is estimated that eight million women in the U.S. are living with heart disease. Even though 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease, only about one in six believe this is their greatest health threat.
In addition to the Go Red for Women event, Senator O’Brien, Senator Schuitmaker and other legislators introduced Senate Resolution 8 on Thursday. The resolution proclaims February as American Heart Month in Michigan, and February 6 as Go Red Day in the state. It also urges women to join the movement and encourages all Michiganders to be aware of the risks of heart disease.
“No family should suffer the loss of a loved one due to lack of knowledge about the risk factors of any disease, which is why I remain committed to promoting this important event each year,” O’Brien said.
Schuitmaker and O’Brien are also members of Circle of Red, a group of community members who are major donors to research for heart disease in women.
The American Heart Association and its volunteers work with state legislatures in fighting cardiovascular diseases. Their work is aimed at improving the lives of Americans suffering from heart disease and stroke, or those at risk for developing cardiovascular disease, in an effort to achieve the Heart Association’s mission of building healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
For more information, visit GoRedForWomen.org or call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278).