Go Red Event Raises Awareness of Heart Disease

A gray February day was made brighter as women dressed in red turned out for the Go Red for Women luncheon and fashion show. The event sponsored by Shore Health System was held at the Immanuel United Church of Christ in Cambridge on February 5.

Cardio-Pulmonary Fitness and Wellness Manager Sally Worm, RN, hosted the American Heart Association fundraiser. Although the atmosphere at the event was light-hearted, Worm delivered a serious message. “Women are regularly under-diagnosed for heart disease,” she said. “It is important for every woman to know the risk factors for heart disease and to get medical attention immediately if symptoms occur.”

Risk factors for heart disease include uncontrolled high blood pressure, high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, being overweight and living a sedentary lifestyle. A family history of heart attack at a young age – younger than 55 for a father or brother and before age 65 for a mother or sister – also increases a woman’s risk of having a heart attack. Symptoms of heart attack common for women include shortness of breath, chest pain, arm heaviness, pain in the center of the back and fatigue.

Ann Russo and Brenda Danser, participants in Shore Health System Cardio-Pulmonary Fitness and Wellness program, shared their stories with the luncheon guests. Although their medical conditions are different, they showed that it is possible to regain health after even the most serious diagnosis.

Russo encouraged women to be persistent if the medical advice they receive does not relieve their symptoms. Explaining that she finally got to the root of her health issue after getting several medical opinions, she said, “Go with your instincts when you don’t feel well.”

For more information about the Shore Health System Cardio-Pulmonary Fitness and Wellness Program, call 410-228-5511, ext. 8201 or 410-822-1000, ext. 5208.