Senior center visitors celebrate 'Go Red for Women' at Friday lunch

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Carol Tharp (right), Concordia Senior Center coordinator, enjoys a good laugh Friday, Feb. 6, while discussing Go Red for Women, a campaign of the American Heart Association. Nearly all of the visitors to the center Friday morning were wearing red. (Charles Dunlap/The Concordian)

On Friday, Feb. 6, the Concordia Senior Center was awash in the color red. Why? The center was celebrating Go Red for Women, which is a campaign of the American Heart Association.

According to the AHA website, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and is more deadly than all forms of cancer.

Heart disease affects women differently than men, and the signs of a heart attack in women, may not be the same for men, said Carol Tharp, Concordia Senior Center coordinator, at Friday's lunch.

"One in three women die from heart disease, is what they said on 'Good Morning, America,' this morning," said one visitor to the center.

Tharp also commented on the sea of red clothing at the center Friday.

"This is wonderful. I love seeing all this red," she said.

Up to 1.3 million Americans today have some form of congenital heart defect and at least nine of every 1,000 infants born each year have a heart defect, according to the AHA.

For many women, they may experience a silent heart attack, also known as silent ischemia.

Common symptoms of a silent attack include fatigue, according to the AHA.

Magnetic resonance images or an electrocardiogram may determine a person had an attack weeks or months prior, without realization.

"Listen to your body," said Tharp.

Women who have experienced heart disease can also share their stories to the AHA Go Red for Women website. The AHA is also seeking participants for its Health eHeart study. Information is available on the AHA website.

The AHA will present its Red Dress Collection 2015 Thursday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m. eastern. The livestream of the event is available at www.goredforwomen.org/RedDressCollection.

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