National Red Sock Day Date in the current year: February 17, 2024

National Red Sock Day National Red Sock Day, often referred to as simply Red Sock Day, is observed on the third Saturday of February to raise awareness of the peripheral artery disease, an abnormal narrowing of arteries that most commonly affects the legs.

There are several conditions that involve an abnormal narrowing of arteries caused by plaque build-up: coronary artery disease affects the arteries of the heart, cerebrovascular disease affects the arteries of the brain, and peripheral artery disease (PAD), just as its name suggests, involves the peripheral arteries. It typically affects the legs, but arms, neck, or kidneys may also be affected. Risk factors for PAD include tobacco smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, and kidney problems.

The most common symptom of PAD is vascular claudication, also known as intermittent claudication. It causes episodes of pain and severe cramping in the calf muscle, which occur during walking or exercising and are relieved by a short period of rest. Other symptoms may include hair and muscle loss of the affected limb, numbness, cold or blueish skin, and foot ulcers that don’t heal.

The problem with PAD is that it is often asymptomatic, and a lot of patients don’t get diagnosed until the disease reaches advanced stages. Untreated PAD may lead to complications such as gangrene which may require amputation, heat attack or stroke. According to statistics, PAD affects 20% of adults over the age of 50 and leads to 200,000 amputations globally every year, more than half of which are preventable. 60% of heart attack sufferers have PAD, but most don’t know they have it.

National Red Sock Day was founded in 2022 by The Way to My Heart, a US-based nonprofit organization focused on supporting PAD patients and their caregivers through advocacy and education. The main goals of Red Sock Day are to increase PAD awareness, encourage dialogue between patients and their physicians to improve PAD diagnosis rates and prevent complications, and raise money to support PAD patients and healthcare providers.

The symbol of Red Sock Day is a red sock with the blue toe and heel. The color red symbolizes a healthy circulatory system, whereas the blue toe and heel symbolize the effects of undiagnosed and untreated circulatory issues. On the occasion of Red Sock Day, The Way to My Heart sells socks to raise funds to help PAD patients in need as part of its Care Access Program (CAP), which provides PAD patients with critical resources to improve their quality of life.

There are many ways to observe National Red Sock Day. You can learn more about PAD and the importance of its early diagnosis, have a conversation with your physician about PAD if you’re in the risk group, buy a pair of socks from The Way to My Heart or simply donate to a PAD patient organization, wear red socks and use them as a way to start a conversation about PAD, and spread the word on social media with the hashtags #RedSockDay and #NationalRedSockDay. If you have been diagnosed with PAD, consider sharing your story to encourage people in the risk group to get tested.

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National Red Sock Day, Red Sock Day, observances in the US, periphery artery disease, The Way to My Heart