Vermont’s Go Red for Women® Luncheon on May 4th Highlights Rise in Heart Disease in Younger Women

While nearly 80 percent of cardiac events may be prevented, cardiovascular disease continues to be a woman’s greatest health threat. One in three women live with some form of cardiovascular disease and it’s on the rise in younger women.


Lauren Maloney, Local 22 and Local 44

The Vermont Go Red for Women Luncheon on Tuesday, May 4th aims to empower and educate women about their leading health threat and how to prevent it. The Luncheon program will be a digital experience emceed by Mary Cenci of Star 92.9 and Lauren Maloney of Local 22 and Local 44.

Mary Cenci, Star 92.9

Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement which advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health. This year marks the 17th anniversary of the Association’s launch of the Go Red for Women Movement nationwide.  Heart disease is not just a problem for “older” men. Heart disease and stroke can affect a woman at any age. Research shows heart attacks are on the rise in younger women.


Mika Leah, Heart Disease Survivor

Mika Leah, a young mom who suffered a heart disease at age 33 due to a blockage in her main coronary artery, will share her personal journey with heart disease during the program. “If I realized that heart disease could happen to a young, fit female, I would have pushed for a stress test a year earlier,” said Leah. “My intuition was telling me that whole time that something was wrong, but I was focused on taking care of everyone else.”


The luncheon will also feature a keynote address by Dr. Mary Cushman, a hematologist with the University of Vermont Medical Center, who will update attendees on this recent research showing the increase of heart disease in younger women pared with a decrease in awareness among younger generations.

“The decline in awareness among women, especially in women in their 20s and 30s, and Black and Hispanic women of all ages, requires swift action to reverse. Lower socioeconomic status was strongly related to lower awareness, independent of other factors. More research is needed to determine all causes of low awareness; but ongoing societal challenges impacting our health care system including systemic racism and implicit gender or racial bias may be influencing women’s health,” said Cushman.


Since Go Red for Women began in 2004, over 1.5 million women have joined the life-saving movement.  Of those who have joined, 90 percent of women have made at least one healthy behavior change, and about 293 fewer women in the U.S. die from heart disease and stroke each day.


To prevent cardiovascular disease, women should understand family health history, know their numbers and make lifestyle changes like moving more, eating smart and managing their blood pressure. Risk factors that are within women’s control include smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, poor diet, obesity/overweight and diabetes.


“The American Heart Association wants women to know cardiovascular disease remains their greatest health threat at any age. With these findings, women should feel empowered to join movements like Go Red for Women for evidence-based solutions and support,” says Mary Cushman, M.D., M.Sc., FAHA, professor of medicine at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, and chair of the writing group for the Circulation statement.


The Vermont Go Red for Women Luncheon is locally sponsored by PC Construction, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, The Cardiovascular Research Institute of Vermont, Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, and Vermont Federal Credit Union, with media sponsors, Local 22 and Local 44, Seven Days, and Star 92.9

To register for this free event, please visit VTGoRed.Heart.Org.