Heart disease and women, Milwaukee luncheon raises awareness

MILWAUKEE - Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the U.S., but there's a push for more resources to help spread the word.

Celebrating life is how a group of women kicked off the American Heart Association’s "Go Red for Women" luncheon in Milwaukee.

"We need to spread that awareness to help people understand how important this is, and that they do need to check heart health," said Erin Levzow.

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The fight hits close to home for Levzow. She said she got involved with the American Heart Association because her husband battled heart disease and all three of her kids were born with heart issues. She has been involved with the organization for six years and has pushed for more community efforts to raise awareness about heart diease in women.

"The number one killer of women in our country is heart disease, its heart issues, and we need to talk about that," she said.

<div>American Heart Association</div>
American Heart Association

The American Red Cross said 45% of women 20 years and older are living with some form of cardiovascular disease, yet only 44% of women are aware that heart disease is their greatest health threat.

"This is something that's much more prevalent in women than we had initially thought," said Dr. Jorge Saucedo, chief of cardiology for Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin.

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That is the reason efforts like Go Red for Women hope to make a difference.

"When I got involved, I was in the back seat of the car," said Levzow. "Now I get to be in the driver's seat and help fill the back seat of the car with more volunteers to help continue to spread awareness and spread the word."