Thursday, February 05, 2009

Go Red for Men, Too

After literally hundreds of politically-correct publications and press releases regarding the Go Red for Women campaign sponsored, in part, by Merck, Macy's, Jiffy Lube, Campbell's Soup, Blue Diamond Almonds, Cutco, Clairol Professional, e-GLAM, Flooring America, Fresh Express / Chiquita, Geoffrey Beene, Hamilton Beach, Jafra, Ocean Spray, Prego Heart Smart, Rite Aide, Starkist, Supervalu, Swanson Premium Chuck Chicken, Swarovski, V8 Beverages, Yankee Candle, wireless carrriers AT&T, Nextel, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless (they help you donate from your cell phone - just don't forget to text "STOP" to unsubscribe after you donate!), and oh yeah, the American Heart Association (whew!), I'd like to take a moment and be politically incorrect and say:

"Go Red for Men, Too!"

Here's some stats from the CDC on heart disease in men, lest the guys out there feel left out tomorrow:
  • In 2005, 322,841 men died from heart disease, the leading cause of death for men in the United States.

  • The age-adjusted death rate for heart disease in men was 260 per 100,000 population in 2005.

  • About 9.4% of all white men, 7.1% of black men, and 5.6% of Mexican American men live with coronary heart disease.

  • The average age of a first heart attack for men is 66 years.

  • Almost half of men who have a heart attack under age 65 die within 8 years.

  • Results from the Framingham Heart Study suggest that men have a 49% lifetime risk of developing coronary heart disease after the age of 40.

  • Between 70% and 89% of sudden cardiac events occur in men.

  • Major risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, tobacco use, diabetes, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition.

  • In a large study of blood pressure treatment and control, an average reduction of 12 to 13 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure over 4 years of follow-up was associated with a 21% reduction in coronary heart disease, 37% reduction in stroke, and 13% reduction in all-cause mortality rates.

  • Studies suggest that a 10% decrease in total cholesterol levels may reduce the development of coronary heart disease by as much as 30%.
Although my feelings about the commercial nature of the Go Red for Women Campaign haven't changed much, as I read over these older statistics for heart disease, I sometimes wonder if guys should wear black tomorrow instead.

Nah. That would be too depressing.

Red, baby, red.

-Wes

3 comments:

Marilyn Mann said...

I personally find the Go Red for Women campaign annoying and demeaning. The assumption seems to be that the only way to reach women is with fashion shows.

Jason F said...

So your blog is the first one that popped up in a google search for "Go red for men"

Its not politically incorrect to say that, and it SHOULD be politically incorrect to say "Go red for women". As a man I have had heart problems since birth, and then something like this pops up? This is ridiculously offensive. How about "Go red for your heart?" no sex, just heart disease. This isn't breast cancer which although does happen in men, it is rare. This is heart disease, its not gender specific.

Robyn said...

Dr. Wes, I work in a predonimently male office...well I'm the only woman. I started planning "brown bag" for the guys to promote better health, and things of that nature ... I happened upon your blog because of the Go Red campaign by the AHA, which really surprised me by the way that there isn't more info regarding men and heart disease. Anyway, I would like to use your statistics on Men & Heart disease in my presentation instead of the women's statistic. If you have any other info that you could share, or direct me to, i would appreciate it! My mother died of complications from heart disease, so this is kind of close to my heart. :)

Thank you!