|The Women's Center sponsored two|
information tables about Go Red today!
Thank you to our awesome volunteers
who staffed them!
In 2008 Kate Harding wrote an incredibly powerful article for Salon entitled, Heart Disease is a Feminist Issue. This article changed my way of thinking about heart disease in a major way, I really recommend taking ten minutes to read it! Here's an excerpt:
"Women's heart attack symptoms can be different from men's -- we might feel pain in the back, jaw or stomach instead of the chest, for instance, and the radiating pain down the left arm we all hear about doesn't show up as often in women. Why, I asked the doctor, had I never heard that before, at 25 years old? "Well," he said, "until about 20 years ago, they just didn't test much on women. The assumption was that it would be the same for them as for men."
Try that for a kick in the gut. They just didn't test much on women. Until, I guess, it occurred to the medical community that the No. 1 killer of women ought to be studied in women. Worse yet, the information they did have by the time my mom died wasn't even common knowledge for some reason -- and still isn't."
It's fitting that Go Red for Women day falls during February because February is Black History Month and black women (and other women of color) are disproportionately effected by heart disease. Doctors and activists all have different theories as to why this occurs including, a lack of education campaigns reaching these specific demographics and decreased access to preventative care. Regardless of the reasoning, it is impossible to deny that there is a major disparity here that needs to be addressed:
African-American women are 35% more likely to die of heart disease than Caucasian women, while Hispanic women face heart disease nearly 10 years earlier than Caucasian women.
Statistics show that about 68% of white women know that heart disease is the leading killer of women, compared to only 31% of black women and 29% of Hispanic women.
February is also home to National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (2/ 21-2/25) which is an annual week of events that serve to bring awareness about eating disorders and support for people living with and in recovery from disorders. One of the after-effects of an Eating Disorder is higher risk for Heart Disease, so it is fitting that these two events occupy the same month. Check out the Women's Center blog and facebook for more information about EDAW as the week grows closer!
CHECK OUT THE RAMAPO EATING DISORDER AWARENESS WEEK EVENTS HERE!
On a slightly less serious note February is also National Condom Month! Some hormonal birth controls can increase a woman's risk of heart disease, but condoms do not! Expect some fun posts about how to put a condom on properly, different kinds of unique condoms, and much more as the month continues. In the meantime remember condoms can be purchased any time the Women's Center is open for just 10 cents a piece!