Recent studies have shown that women are at high risk for heart disease. In order to promote consciousness of the disease, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute began the Heart Truth campaign in which thousands of Americans are expected to participate in order to help combat heart disease.
“The reason I got involved in this is because I would like people to realize that they can give back and bring awareness,” said Margaret Tierney, director of health and wellness on the Staten Island campus. “Everyone can benefit by participating in wearing red and purchasing a pin.”
The Heart Truth campaign’s main purpose is to inspire many women and have others recognize the dangers of heart disease. Women between the ages of 40-60 are typically unaware that heart disease is the number one killer of women. It is responsible for more female deaths than all forms of cancer combined.
To promote the cause, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, along with other institutions, have marked the first Friday of every February as National Wear Red Day and have used the red dress as a representation for all women. The red dress pin is a symbol of awareness and shows women that they can reduce their risk of heart disease.
This year, the Queens campus, along with the Staten Island campus, promoted National Wear Red Day and the selling of the pins.
Only 13 percent of women view heart disease as a health threat, even though it is the number one killer of women, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. One in four females and one in four males in the United States suffers from a form of heart disease.
Although the goal of the campaign is to increase the knowledge of the disease at the University, there was a low record of participation on the Queens campus. Many were unaware that this campaign was being promoted.
“Yes, I did know today was National Wear Red Day and no, I am not wearing red because I wasn’t very committed,” said Craig A. Baron, a professor of theology on the Queens campus. “But I believe there was not enough promotion for it because I had only seen it on the Web.”
Many students admitted that they had seen the announcement on St. John’s Central, but were unaware of the day because of the lack of promotion.
“Yes, I was aware of the day but I only found out today online,” said Patti Haas, an administrative service major. “I don’t believe many knew about it because it was not posted around campus.”
Although it seemed that many students did not participate, many faculty and administrators tried to show support for the cause.
“I purchased a lot of pins for my fellow co-workers and we are all supporting by wearing red,” said Mary Ponturo, a faculty record assistant for the human resources department. “I know women in particular need to be more aware and take better care because later on it may be too late.”
For more information on heart disease or National Wear Red Day, please visit the Heart Truth Web site at www.hearttruth.gov.