MU Health Care lights up red for American Heart Month

Exterior lights at the University Hospital and MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital will be red for all of February.

The month of February has recently been deemed American Heart Month to raise awareness of heart disease in the country.

MU Health Care is celebrating this month in a few ways this year. Exterior lighting of University Hospital and the MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital has been colored red.

The red lighting is a simple way to bring attention to heart disease awareness, according to an MU Health Care news release.

At University Hospital, the lobby archway and the two glass stairwells on the south and southeast sides of the patient care tower have been lit red. A projected image of a red dress, the symbol of National Wear Red Day, which was Friday, was projected on the exterior of the hospital.

At the MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the archway above the main entrance has been lit red as well.

MU Health Care believes it’s important to celebrate the month because cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in the U.S.

Mary Dohrmann, a cardiologist and medical director of the University Physicians-Cardiovascular Medicine Clinic and MU Health Care’s cardiac rehabilitation service, said some of the warning signs of a person with possible heart disease are chest discomfort, usually in the center of the chest, discomfort in other areas of the upper body and shortness of breath.

Dohrmann said to call for emergency assistance if an individual is having these symptoms.

Some of the controllable factors that can lead to heart disease are high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol levels, Dohrmann said.

She said that not smoking is the most important preventable risk factor.

In addition to the red exterior lighting, MU Health Care is also sponsoring a free health screening from 7 to 10 a.m. on Feb. 22 and a heart-healthy cooking demonstration from noon to 1 p.m. on Feb. 24 at the HyVee on Nifong Boulevard.

Dohrmann said she would love to report by next February that heart disease in Missouri is decreasing.

“(I hope) the heart-healthy lifestyle promoted during Heart Month should have long-lasting benefits for anyone who makes the needed changes,” she said.

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