Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan asks Michigan residents to "Know their Numbers" during American Heart Association Awareness Month

Detroit Tower displays red heart supports campaign to fight heart disease

February 3, 2012

DETROIT — In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds. Cardiovascular disease is a serious medical condition, while heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, claiming one in every three women annually. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is asking Michigan residents to know your numbers this February to support the American Heart Association’s Heart Awareness month. Knowing your numbers – body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol – can help to keep your heart healthy and safe from cardiovascular disease.

BCBSM is 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 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 your numbers when it comes to heart disease.

More women die from heart disease than from all forms of cancer combined.  Risk factors for heart disease can include: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and being overweight or obese.  Blue Cross registered dietician and certified diabetes educator Grace Derocha says, “Heart disease kills more people every year than stroke, diabetes and kidney disease, 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 healthy life.”

In addition to knowing your numbers, the Blues encourage cardiovascular health through exercise and activity, and will be participating in and supporting a number of activities in February throughout Michigan to lead the effort:

  • BCBSM lights up Detroit headquarters building with hearts on north and south side of the building.
  • To increase awareness about heart disease, Blues employees will join the American Heart Association’s call for women to wear red one day each year. Get involved – learn how you can help.
  • Feb. 5: Healthy Weight Journal kickoff, Marquette: BCBSM is pleased to support the Marquette community in the Healthy Weight Journal Community Wellness Challenge, an eight-week, countywide program. The program is designed to improve the health and wellness of the entire county with special emphasis in the areas of schools and worksites.
  • Feb. 7 to 10: Special Olympics State Winter Games: BCBSM supports the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes initiative, a program that has provided more than 1.2 million free health screenings in more than 100 countries, while offering health services and information to athletes in dire need. In the process, Special Olympics has become the largest global public health organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual disabilities.
  • 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. 
  • According to organdonor.gov, 112,769 people are waiting for an organ, 18 people will die each day waiting for an organ and one organ donor can save up to eight lives. Sign up to be an organ donor today. 
  • Feb. 19: Heart Healthy Tour, Traverse City:  Participants can cross country ski or snowshoe for a healthy heart, wear red for a good cause and have heart health assessments along the trail. Learn more about the event.

Find easy steps that you can take to know your numbers by visiting aHealthierMichigan.org.  Also, visit bcbsm.com to find more resources about Blue Cross’ 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, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.3 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. 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.

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