Wear Red Friday Raises Awareness - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Wear Red Friday Raises Awareness

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ARDMORE, OK -- Friday was National Wear Red Day to raise awareness for heart disease, the number one killer of women in America.

"My mom had some heart problems," said Harold Roberts. "Eventually she died from a stroke."

You don't need to tell Harold Roberts that heart disease in women is a big problem.

After losing his mom in 2004, he hadn't heard of National Wear Red Day -- the first Friday in February -- designed to raise awareness of heart disease in women.

"It's a big killer, it's a big problem," said Annie Gile, a health promoter at the Carter County Health Department in Ardmore. "It kills more than all forms of cancer combined."

The American Heart Association's website says an estimated 43 million women in the U.S. Are affected by heart disease.

With only one in five American women believing heart disease is their biggest health threat.

But enough of the bad news, since the first National Wear Red Day in 2003, big strides have been made in the fight against heart disease in women.

The AHA's website says, 34 percent fewer women now die from heart disease.

Overall awareness is up, with nearly a quarter of Americans now realizing heart disease is the number one killer of women.

"We all feel connected in that way that we're all women and we're all standing up and training to raise awareness for this event and for this cause because it's so important to each of us," said Gile.

Staff members around the Carter County Health Department donned their red Friday.

And Roberts -- who didn't know it was National Wear Red Day, but wore some anyway -- says it has an impact.

"I've seen what pink has done for breast cancer and raising the awareness there," said Roberts. "And heart disease in women is something we need to be aware of and see if we can address it as a nation.

Gile says to be on the lookout for signs of heart disease in women, which can differ from men.

If you want more information, you can find a link to the American Heart Association's website at here.