first_imgVermont Business Magazine American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women announced today this year’s “Real Women,” national spokespeople for the cause. These nine women from across the country will share their personal stories and encourage women to take a proactive role in their health by knowing their family history and scheduling a Well-Woman Visit. “I was walking my dog when I began to feel pressure in my chest and was short of breath but I figured it was allergies,” said Montpelier resident Shalini Suryanarayana, National Go Red For Women Spokesperson. “The thought that my symptoms were heart-related never crossed my mind. When the symptoms persisted even when I was indoors, I reluctantly went to the ER at the urging of my sister-in-law, and it’s a good think I did because it turned out that I was experiencing a cardiac event that required a stent to reopen an artery.”Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, yet it’s is 80 percent preventable. One risk factor that cannot be prevented is family history.According to a recent study in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, 95.7 percent of study respondents considered knowledge of family history important to their personal health. The startling truth, though, is that only 36.9 percent reported actively collecting health information from their relatives.Vermonter Shalini Suryanarayanaand her dog Budderball (his smile is real)“I was very lucky that my cardiac event was caught and treated in time,” said Suryanarayana. “I thought that by staying on top of all the risk factors – I have been vegetarian, exercise regularly, never overweight, don’t drink much and have never smoked, etc. – that I could avoid any cardiovascular issues, but I underestimated the power of genetics. My family history trumped everything. By knowing your family history and scheduling a Well-Woman Visit, you could be taking action today that could save your life tomorrow.”Go Red For Women’s 2015-2016 “Real Women” are: Maria Acereto, from Los Angeles, CA, had open heart surgery at the age of 23 due to a congenital heart defect; Angela Baird, from Grandview, MO, suffers from Kawasaki syndrome and is a heart attack survivor; Meliah Jefferson, from Greenville, SC, is a heart attack survivor; Paula Rice, from New York, suffered a cardiac arrest; Julie Rickman, from Overland Park, KS, is a heart attack survivor who required a stent; Shalini Suryanarayana, from Montpelier, VT, experienced a cardiac event requiring a stent; Annemarie Ward, from Lakeland, FL, is a heart transplant recipient; Pkaye Washington, from Austin, TX, was diagnosed with Class II heart failure; and Emily Welbourn, from Seattle, WA, is a stroke survivor.These women’s stories all have one common thread – knowing your family history is important and discussing it with a health care professional is key to taking steps to prevent heart disease and stroke. A Well-Woman Visit is an annual physical and discussion about your health that all women should get to help identify serious health concerns before they become life threatening, such as heart disease.“Heart disease is often said to be a silent killer,” said Mary Cushman, M.D., M.Sc., University of Vermont professor of medicine and director, Thrombosis and Hemostasis Program “But, you shouldn’t be silent, too, when you’re at your annual Well-Woman Visit. Understanding your family history and sharing it with your doctor may well be all that’s needed to save your life.”Well-Woman Visits will be tailored to age, family history, past health history and need for preventive screenings. Some services, such as checking blood pressure, height and weight, and temperature, will be provided every year. However, other services may only be provided as needed, based on medical and family history.The exam will also screen for other health problems that are unique to women including mammograms for breast cancer, pap smears for cervical cancer, prenatal care, bone-mass measurements for osteoporosis; plus gender-neutral screenings and services such as colon cancer screening, obesity screening and counseling, and shots to prevent flu, tetanus, and pneumonia.Visit https://www.goredforwomen.org/home/well-woman(link is external) to learn more.Know your family history. Know the red flags of heart disease and stroke, which kill 1 in 3 women. Know you have the power to prevent it. Schedule your Well-Woman Visit today.About Go Red For WomenGo Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women. Heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 women,  more than all cancers combined. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Women who Go Red live healthier lives. For more than a decade Go Red For Women has fought for equal health opportunity for women. We proudly wear red, share our stories of survival and advocate for more research and swifter action for women’s heart and brain health. Our future is focused on changing the culture to make it easier for women and their families to live healthier lives. When it comes to beating heart disease and stroke, it’s time to put our hearts into it.  Take action at GoRedForWomen.org.About the American Heart AssociationThe American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke,  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information tolast_img