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Posted on Feb 20, 2015

Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined

By Alicia Shields, QVMC

Although significant progress has been made in increasing awareness among women that heart disease is their No. 1 killer, most women fail to make the connection between heart disease risk factors and their personal risk of developing the disease. This disease is largely preventable, but kills more women than all forms of cancer combined.

Quincy Valley Medical Center on Feb. 6 participated in The Heart Truth program’s 2015 National Wear Red Day to help spread the message that heart disease doesn’t care what you wear.

Alicia Shields

Alicia Shields

The Heart Truth created and introduced the red dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness in 2002 to deliver an urgent wake-up call to American women. The Red Dress reminds women of the need to protect their heart health, and inspires them to take action. On National Wear Red Day, QVMC employees wore red clothes to show their support for women and heart disease awareness.

While heart disease risk begins to rise in middle age, heart disease develops over time and can start at a young age, even in the teen years. It’s never too early, or too late, to take action to prevent and control the risk factors for heart disease. The Heart Truth is building awareness of women,s heart disease and empowering women to reduce and prevent their risk. It is reaching women with important heart health messages in community settings through a diverse network of national and grassroots partner organizations.

The Heart Truth program is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with The Office on Women,s Health and other groups committed to the health and well-being of women.

Community organizations across the country are joining The Heart Truth program and using its red dress symbol to raise awareness about women and heart disease. Educational materials are being distributed at upcoming local events.

The hospital has partnered with WomenHeart, The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, to offer cardiac support and education to the community. WomenHeart meets at 2 p.m. the second Wednesday of every month at QVMC in the north wing dining room. For more information about WomenHeart, contact Brandy Nicolas at 787-5354 or

QVMC also offers free blood pressure screenings for community members. Stop by this month for a free blood pressure check and heart disease education.

Alicia Shields is the chief nursing officer at Quincy Valley Medical Center. To find out more about women and heart disease, visit or call the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Health Information Center at 301-592-8573.