One-quarter of all women in Ireland will die from cardiovascular disease, however most cases of premature death from this disease are preventable, the Irish Heart Foundation (IHF) has highlighted.
It has just launched a new campaign, Go Red for Women, aimed at raising funds and awareness of this disease.
Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death here, and is responsible for one-quarter of all deaths in women. In fact, women are almost six times more likely to die from it than from breast cancer.
However, 80% of premature deaths from the disease are preventable.
This February, the IHF is calling on the public to show their support for the women in their lives by holding some sort of an event, such as a community walk or coffee morning, by volunteering on February 14, or by donating to the foundation.
"Our Go Red for Women campaign is championed by five women from around Ireland, each of whom has been affected by cardiovascular disease. Through their stories and support from the public, we can continue to empower women to live longer, healthier lives," explained Judith Gilsenan, commercial director of the IHF.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Lizzy Honan from Dublin explained how she was diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy, a very rare form of heart failure, shortly after giving birth to twins in 2016.
"I was told at the time of my diagnosis not to have any more children. I was also told you might get better or you might not, you might need a heart transplant, you might get to a certain level and not get any better or you might continue to recover. That was a lot to get your head around particularly as a brand new mum to twins," she said.
Also at the launch, Karen Ward from Carrickmacross in Monaghan spoke about her experience of undergoing open heart surgery last November because of a congenital heart condition. This operation left her with a visible scar.
"It is very visible and I don't hide it. I have had a few funny comments about it. I overheard someone say I had to wear a necklace to cover it and one man told me ‘you are a good looking girl it shouldn't take away from you'.
"For me it is important to show it off, it doesn't bother me one little bit. In fact, I am very proud of it. It is because of my scar that I am still here," she said.
For more information on the Go Red for Women campaign, including how to get involved, click on www.GoRed.ie.
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