The leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States is heart disease.

One in four deaths are caused by heart disease each year. So, Northern Light Health AR Gould is joining the American Heart Association and others nationally for American Heart Month throughout the month of February.

Northern Light Health hospitals from Presque Isle to Portland will “Go Red for Women”, encouraging employees, visitors, and the general public to wear red this Friday, February 7, to help raise awareness of heart disease, particularly among women.

AR Gould in Presque Isle will offer free blood pressure and BMI screenings on Friday, as well as educational displays about nutrition, tobacco use, physical activity, and more in collaboration with ACAP’s Let’s Go program and SNAP-Ed.  Participants can also join in mini yoga sessions, pick up some heart healthy recipes, have fun at a selfie photo booth, and sign up for door prizes. The event takes place this Friday from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm in the hospital’s conference center and is intended for both the public and AR Gould employees.

Snowshoes are available at the Nordic Heritage Center at no charge for club members or for a small $5 fee for non-members.  The hike itself is free.  The group will depart from the parking lot at 1:00 pm, so people should arrive early to get geared up, particularly those needing to rent equipment. This education activity will then be followed up with a short snowshoe hike on Sunday, February 9, at the Nordic Heritage Center which is being sponsored jointly by Nordic Heritage and the hospital’s Total Wellness Team.

Women typically experience very different symptoms than men, and that is something every women – and every man who has a woman in their life they care about – should be aware of. There are definite early warning signs and symptoms of heart attacks. Women can experience all, some, a few, or none of the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Unusual or extreme fatigue
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Upper body discomfort (jaw, neck, back pain)

Knowing these heart attack symptoms could mean the difference between life and death. The sooner appropriate action is taken, the better the odds are for survival and decreased complications following a heart attack.

To learn more about Go Red for Women and for useful resources including healthy recipes, videos, and more, visit northernlighthealth.org/heart-health.