Event to focus on heart health

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Vidant Beaufort and Vidant Pungo hospitals hope to highlight issues affecting women’s heart health at a luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Washington Civic Center.

It is part of an effort by Vidant Health to educate women about heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States and of particular concern in eastern North Carolina, where many residents are said to be at high risk of the disease.

Featured speaker for the event will be Zonya Foco, an author, television host and national speaker who will drive home the message that, when it comes to heart health and nutrition, one good habit leads to another.

She will speak at six events scheduled across the region.

It is part of a national campaign, dubbed “The Heart Truth,” during American Heart Month by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. It is designed to build awareness of women’s heart disease and to give them the information they need to reduce their risk of developing the disease.

The campaign is primarily targeted to women ages 40 to 60, the time when a woman’s risk of heart disease begins to increase.

The campaign message is paired with a visual — the Red Dress — designed to warn women that heart disease is their No. 1 killer.

A local cardiologist will talk about heart disease in women, its risk factors and what women can do to improve their heart health.

This is the 10th year that University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, now Vidant Health, has sponsored events in February that highlight heart disease in women.

Each participant will receive a free “Red Dress Kit.”

The luncheon is free to the public, but space is limited and registration is required. To register, interested participants should call 1-800-472-8500 or visit Vidant Health’s website at www.VidantHealth.com.

Transportation will be provided from Vidant Pungo Hospital to the Washington Civic Center. The “Red Dress Express” will leave from the Belhaven hospital at 10:30 a.m. and return at about 2:30 p.m.

Fast facts about women and heart disease:

  • One in four women dies of heart disease in the United States each year, while one in 30 women dies of breast cancer.
  • 23 percent of women will die one year after having a heart attack.
  • Within six years of having a heart attack, 46 percent of women become disabled with heart failure.
  • About two-thirds of women who have a heart attack fail to make a full recovery.