Candace Couture was training for marathons when it was becoming just a little more difficult for her. A routine appointment showed she had high blood pressure, but she wasn’t convinced she needed to go to the emergency room. Candace’s family had a history of high blood pressure, but she never thought it would affect her. High blood pressure and heart disease can often be looked at as a man’s disease, but an estimated 50 million women have hypertension in the US.
Candace took the stage at the Go Red for Women Luncheon on October 4 with survivors Amy DeStefano And Lisa Renauld. After fighting pneumonia, Amy Destefano then had to fight heart disease caused by the virus. This lead to a heart transplant that changed her life. Lisa woke up one morning with a heaviness in her chest that came and went throughout the day. The pain started to radiate down her left arm and through her jaw. She started feeling nauseous and her lower teeth began to hurt. Lisa began to entertain the idea that it was just anxiety and only a coincidence got her to the hospital.
Heart disease is the No.1 killer of women, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined. At the Go Red for Women Luncheon this year, the American Heart Association educated and empowered women, and the men who love them.
The day featured blood pressure screenings, a mindfulness session, CPR through virtual reality, along with a heart-healthy lunch and panel of survivors. A big focus of the day was vaping and e-cigarette education. A healthy lifestyle is key to a healthy heart, this includes avoiding the use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Unfortunately, this is a health epidemic to our youth as 23.8% of students in New Hampshire have admitted to using an e-cigarette product. The Go Red for Women Luncheon aims to educate guest who can then educate their friends, families, and colleagues about the dangers of vaping.
While nearly 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes, cardiovascular diseases continue to be a woman’s greatest health threat. To treat, beat and prevent heart disease and stroke, women should understand family health history, know their five key personal health numbers to help determine risk and make healthy behavior changes like moving more, eating smart and managing blood pressure.
Go Red for Women, nationally sponsored by CVS Health, provides a platform for women to come together, raise awareness, fund lifesaving research, advocate for change and improve the lives of all women everywhere. The Go Red for Women Luncheon is locally sponsored by Anthem, Inc., Bernstein Shur, Catholic Medical Center, and Mercedes-Benz of Manchester with media sponsors New Hampshire Magazine, New Hampshire Business Review, WMUR, and WZID.
To hear more about Candace’s story, watch her video here.