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33MD for February 5, 2009

POSTED: Thursday, February 5, 2009 - 6:46pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:57pm

Heart disease can be very scary. Most women don’t know they’re at risk. Tomorrow, many will be getting the word out by wearing red and one of them is a Super Bowl athlete.

He made the amazing catch that set the New York Giants up to win the Super Bowl in 2007. Wide Receiver David Tyree calls that moment bittersweet because just week before, his 59-year-old mother’s life was cut short by heart disease. Tyree says, “At the moment, it’s just like you got a door slammed in your face and you don’t know how to react. So, I was probably in silence for the next couple of minutes, then the emotions began to well up and I just wept and wept.” Although she had high blood pressure, Tyree says his mom’s death was unexpected.

Dr. Tim Gardner, President of American Heart Association says, “There are more women dying of heart disease today than in the past.” He says women sometimes ignore their symptoms. “The typical woman in the family is the health caregiver in the family and yet she frequently isn’t worrying enough about herself, or is not focusing on her own health.” That’s a problem because taking care of yourself can lower your risk and quite possible save your life. “You have to know your numbers, your blood pressure, cholesterol, your weight, and you have to be physically active and you have to stop smoking if that’s something that you’re doing.”

Tyree is partnering with the organization hoping men will help the women they love. “I’m a son to a mother. I’m a husband to a wife, so we have to inform men as well.”

Heart disease is the number one killer of women in America today. The Governor’s mansion is “going red” to raise awareness. It will be lit up in red this month in the evenings. You can help by wearing red tomorrow.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, there are some new numbers on just how much chocolate you should be eating. Researchers in Italy say the optimum amount of dark chocolate for heart health is about 1/3 of an ounce every day, or about 2 ounces a week. They found the anti-oxidants in chocolate lowered chronic inflammation by an average of 17%. That, in turn, cut the risk of heart disease by about 26%. However, experts say eating more chocolate doesn’t seem to provide any additional benefits.