HEART HEALTHY COOKING: From left, Krivitsky, Sanborn and McPhee
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the MGH Heart Center and Corrigan Women’s Heart Health Program brought attention to hearts everywhere by celebrating “Go Red for Women” month with a series of events and activities to raise awareness of heart disease in women.
“Although more than 80 percent of women between the ages 40 to 60 have one or more risk factors for heart disease, only 13 percent of women consider heart disease to be their greatest health risk,” explained Malissa Wood, MD, co-director at MGH Corrigan Women’s Heart Health Program.
On Feb. 4, Maria Vivaldi, MD, also of the Corrigan Women’s Heart Health Program, presented “Women and Heart Disease,” offering facts about heart disease and women and advice on prevention measures. She stressed the importance of knowing one’s own heart disease risk factors and taking the necessary steps to reduce those risks. For instance, one-third of adults are not aware they have high blood pressure, which Vivaldi referred to as the “silent killer.”
“Heart disease is the number one health threat to society,” said Vivaldi. “The good news is that heart disease is preventable. We just need to create more awareness.”
The MGH Heart Center continued to spread awareness by hosting “National Wear Red Day” also on Feb. 4. All MGH departments were encouraged to wear red in honor of heart disease prevention. Robert Helms, of the MGH Heart Center, won a free lunch for participating in the festive photo shoot.
A heart-healthy cooking demonstration was held Feb. 8 in the East Garden Room with Danita Sanborn, MD, MMSc, MGH cardiologist; Deborah Krivitsky, MS, RD, LDN, MGH dietician; and Al McPhee, MGH chef. Participants learned how to make heart-healthy turkey chili and curried shrimp and garlic with rice.
Cooking demonstrations as well as health screenings, children’s activities and more were held at the health care centers in Charlestown, Chelsea and Revere, where MGH Community Health Associates hosted “Circle of Red Women’s Night Out” events for members of the communities. Also participating was MGH Everett, which hosted a Go Red for Women’s Heart Health Resource Table on Feb. 17. MGH North End will host an information table on Feb. 24 from 11 am to 3 pm. All of these events are supported in part by a $5,000 Circle of Red Community Impact Grant from the American Heart Association. For more information, visit www.massgeneral.org/red.