Women Advocate for Heart Awareness on National Wear Red Day

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Men and women are encouraged to wear red to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and help save lives.

Today we’re sharing the story of one heart disease survivor and her message to young women everywhere.

While heart disease does not discriminate against any particular race or gender, according to doctors, heart disease is the leading cause of death in young women.

Dr Yuan Lu, an assistant professor in cardiovascular medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, said every year in the U.S., 16,000 women younger than 55 years old die of heart attacks.

They are also two to three times more likely to die than similar aged men. 

"I think that’s alarming and should raise awareness in the community," she said.

New Britain resident Claudia Norman was born with a heart murmur. 

At 51 years old, she found out it was much more than that. 

“My heart was just, it would be all kinds of ways, and Ms. Amber, and it was really just troubling,” Norman said.

In 2018 she started to feel sick. Her heart would often race.

The adult congenital team at Connecticut Children’s diagnosed her with what's called, Coronary-cameral fistulae, a rare congenital disease.

She survived open heart surgery and now encourages women to advocate for their health.

“I think this was part of my life’s assignment, to be able to come through this, to share the importance of heart health, to advocate on behalf of those that don't have a voice," she said.

Doctors advise all women to get regular checkups when it comes to their heart health, avoid smoking, stay active and be familiar with your health history.

And if you feel something is wrong, see a doctor immediately. For more on the symptoms of heart-related issues, the American Heart Association website here.

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