Mount Sinai raises heart health awareness with 'Go Red for Women'

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Heart disease is the number one killer in the county, and an event at Mount Sinai called "Go Red for Women" aims to help prevent possible heart attacks and strokes.

"Go Red for Women" was held at five different Mount Sinai locations across the city on Friday and raised awareness of an issue affecting millions of women and families.

"80% of heart disease is preventable," cardiologist Dr. Icy Fergus said. "A lot of it is managing your health, getting enough sleep, and managing your stress."

Kim Hayes had both diabetes and heart disease but neglected her treatment and her body by working long hours and not eating or sleeping well. After a health scare at work where she passed out, she decided that something needed to be done.

"I felt like my system was shutting down," she said. "It was a different kind of feeling I had not had before, and that inner voice was like, 'You are dying. You have to take care of yourself.'"

Hayes has since lost 20 pounds and is now making herself a priority, with healthier choices, taking her medication, and encouraging other women to get screened.

"You have to pay attention to you," Hayes said. "All the work that you do in the world is not going to be done if you pass away from health complications."

Also at the event, experts shared tips through educational demonstrations, talks on nutrition and diet, diabetes, stress management, smoking cessation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques.

"If you feel symptoms that are out of the ordinary that are pervasive and lingering that is more pronounced than you normally get, like for example fatigue, then you go and get checked out," Dr. Fergus said.

Doctors also performed tests on blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride, and body mass index.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. According to the American Heart Association, it kills one woman every 80 seconds and ultimately causes one in three deaths a year. Experts say that 80% of the time, these cases are preventable.

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