Red Dress Day Croatia Raising Awareness of Stroke Specifics in Women

Red Dress Day Croatia Raising Awareness of Stroke Specifics in Women
Zeljko Hladika / PIXSELL

February 4, 2023 - The public health campaign "Red Dress Day," celebrated for the fifth year in a row in Croatia, aims to raise awareness of the specifics of stroke in women.

As 24Sata writes, one in five women will have a stroke, and each year stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer, but 80 percent of strokes can be prevented. This was the message on Friday at the celebration of the "Red Dress Day" campaign, supported by President Milanović and Zagreb Mayor Tomašević.

The public health campaign "Red Dress Day" in Croatia is being celebrated for the fifth year in a row with the aim of raising awareness about the specifics of stroke in women, warning of the disastrous consequences of ignoring symptoms and the need for lifestyle changes.

The President of the Republic, Zoran Milanović, under whose patronage this year's action is being held, pointed out that he was not aware of this problem in the female population until last year, and he is one of those who were reached by this public health initiative.

"I learned something new - awareness of the importance of stroke prevention and treatment in women. I want as many people as possible, in this case, women, to know about this, this message to reach them, to fight the risk factors," President Milanović told the event organizers. The president is familiar with stroke personally because of his mother.

For Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević, the action is also significant on a personal level. In the film shown, his friend and former colleague spoke about the experiences of women who survived a stroke.

"What particularly touched me was the courage of the women who spoke about this experience. It is important to talk about symptoms and prevention. It is not easy to talk about your health problems, but it is crucial to make the public aware of this problem," said Tomašević, adding that they will always support this action.

State Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Marija Bubaš, stated that women are the mainstay of society and that stroke also happens to younger people, so it is essential to talk about their health, which can be improved through prevention.

The president of the Organizing Committee of Red Dress Day, Arijana Lovrenčić-Huzjan, pointed out that she was glad that the whole of Croatia accepted the action and that women realized how important their health is.

Ignoring symptoms can be fatal.

A stroke can happen to anyone at any age, but women are more vulnerable. In Croatia, stroke is the second leading cause of death, with more than 6,000 deaths each year, of which 60 percent are women.

Risk factors for stroke include obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, and inadequate diet, while women have additional specific risks for stroke - taking birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy, pregnancy, migraine, and cardiac arrhythmia.

Diseases whose timely detection and treatment can reduce the risk of stroke are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

The signs of a stroke are slurred speech, weakness in the hands, and loss of feeling in your face or body. Minutes count, and an urgent emergency call on 194 or 112 is crucial.

The program of the ceremony was led by Ivana Roščić, who survived a stroke last year, and Joško Lokas. The musical guests were Nina Kraljić, Luka Nižetić, and Barbara Suhodolčan and the C'est La Vie ensemble.

The address was followed by a fashion show by Croatian designers, worn by women who had recovered from a stroke.

The "Red Dress Day" public health campaign was launched in 2002 in the USA, and 50 countries worldwide have joined it to date. The organizers of this year's action in Croatia are the Croatian Medical Association - the Croatian Neurological Society, and the Croatian Society for Gender Differences in Neurology in cooperation with the City of Zagreb, the Faculty of Medicine in Zagreb and the Andrija Štampar School of Public Health.

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