DETROIT, Jan. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) is encouraging Michigan residents to understand the importance of heart health this February in support of the American Heart Association's annual American Heart Month. BCBSM is asking its employees throughout the state, as well as the public, to wear red in recognition of women's heart disease on Feb. 1, as well as stressing the importance of knowing your numbers.
BCBSM is also showing its support of American Heart Month by once again lighting its Detroit headquarters at 600 East Lafayette Boulevard with two giant, red heart displays on the north and south sides of the building. The hearts will be displayed throughout the month of February as a reminder to all Michigan residents to know their numbers when it comes to heart disease.
Cardiovascular disease is a serious medical condition, and heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, claiming the life of one in every three women annually. In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds. Knowing your numbers – body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol – can help to keep your heart healthy and safe from cardiovascular disease.
Risk factors for heart disease can include: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and being overweight or obese; key factors that unfortunately impact many Michigan families.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 66.1 percent of Michigan adults (age 18 and over) are overweight, with a body mass index of 25 or higher, and 30.9 percent of adults are obese, with a body mass index of 30 or greater. The CDC also reports that 14.2 percent of Michigan adolescents in grades nine through 12 are overweight, while 11.9 percent are obese. In children ages two to five years, 16.3 percent are overweight and 13.3 percent are obese.
"Heart disease is extremely prominent and kills more people every year than stroke, diabetes and kidney disease," said Dr. Jann Caison-Sorey, senior medical director at BCBSM. "Heart disease is not only the number one killer of both men and women, but more women die of heart disease in this country every year than of all forms of cancer combined, so it's very important to know if you are at risk for this condition. Knowing your numbers can get you on the right track to protecting your heart and living a longer, healthier life."
In addition to knowing your numbers, BCBSM encourages cardiovascular health through exercise and activity, and will be supporting and participating in the following activities in February to lead the effort:
- Feb. 1: Go Red for Women/National Wear Red Day: To increase awareness about heart disease in women in particular, BCBSM employees will join the American Heart Association's call to wear red the first Friday in February each year. Get involved – learn how you can help.
- Feb. 1- 28: BCBSM lights up Detroit headquarters building with hearts on north and south sides of the building.
- Feb. 1- 28: David Murray, social media manager for BCBSM, will be documenting his own experiences with living a heart-healthy lifestyle as part of his 2013 Pursuit of Healthiness program through personal blog and video reports as he tries to achieve his health and fitness goals. People can follow his progress, and even join him in making healthier choices. David's journey is being captured on AHealthierMichigan.org/healthyrmurr, can be followed on BCBSM's Facebook page, as well as on Twitter (@bcbsm and @davemurr), and by following the hashtag #healthymurr. Throughout the campaign, the public will have an opportunity to vote on what meals David should eat, what exercises he will do, what kind of gym clothes he will wear, among other health and wellness related activities.
- Feb. 8-10: Snowshoeing at Motown Winter Blast: As part of BCBSM's "Get Fit" campaign at Motown Winter Blast, participants can enjoy complimentary snowshoeing throughout the three-day festival. Snowshoes are available for free at Winter Blast in a variety of sizes for children and adults. BCBSM will also be offering free ice skate rental to the first 250 Winter Blast attendees.
Find easy steps that you can take to know your numbers by visiting aHealthierMichigan.org. Also, visit BCBSM.com to find more resources about BCBSM's efforts to increase education and awareness of preventive health care measures related to cardiovascular disease. Make an appointment with your physician to know your numbers.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com.
SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan