Join DBHIDS as we celebrate National Wear Red Day to raise awareness about women and heart disease. Please wear red or a splash of red this Friday, February 1! Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, causing 1 in 4 deaths each year.

But the warning signs for women aren’t the same in men. The fact is: Heart disease is also the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year or approximately one woman every minute!

Did you know that African American women and Hispanic women are at increased risk for heart disease?

  • African American women have an estimated 40% chance of having heart disease or stroke
  • Hispanic women have a 30% likelihood of having heart disease or stroke.

The good news is that 80% of the risk factors associated with women and heart disease, such as obesity, lack of physical activity, and high blood pressure, can be managed with lifestyle changes and risk factor control.

Along with heart disease, depression is among the most disabling of conditions in the US. Both heart disease and depression are very widespread affecting all age groups and populations, and often, a person suffers from both at the same time.

For years, scientists have known about the relationship between depression and heart disease: People who are depressed develop heart disease at a higher percentage than the general population and people with no history of depression are at increased risk after a heart attack.

Just as important as knowing the signs and symptoms of heart disease in women are knowing the signs and symptoms of depression in women.

The good news is, many things that help to keep your physical heart healthy also help to keep your emotional heart healthy:

  • Exercise when you can – every effort helps!
  • Sleep between 6 to 8 hours (turning phones off an hour before bed helps)
  • Eat small meals throughout the day (pack lunch and healthy snacks)
  • Connect with others (on the phone, support groups, family gatherings, faith groups)
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine
  • Quit smoking

Think you might be struggling with depression? Take a screening.