For Immediate Release
February 1, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

National Wear Red Day Tomorrow to Raise Awareness About Heart Disease,
the Number One Killer of Women

The American Heart Association (AHA) and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) held a joint news conference today in the State Capitol to urge all Kansans to wear red tomorrow to raise awareness that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women in Kansas.

National Wear Red Day highlights the AHA’s “Go Red for Women” campaign that urges women to pay attention to heart health.

“Knowing your risk factors and how to control them are the most important preventive measures you can do for your heart,” stated Mary Ann Mann, Senior Vice President of Health Strategies with the AHA. “Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s nationwide movement that celebrates the energy, passion and power we have as women to band together and fight heart disease, the number one killer of women.”

More women die each year from heart disease than the next five leading causes of death combined. In 2004, heart disease accounted for 33 percent of all deaths in Kansas women.

Speakers at the event included Mann, along with KDHE Secretary Roderick L. Bremby, State Health Officer Dr. Howard Rodenberg, State Rep. Annie Kuether (D, 55 th District) and Marsha Ransom, a heart attack survivor living in Kansas.

“I would encourage all Kansans to join the millions of other Americans tomorrow who will be wearing red to show their support for the fight against heart disease in women,” said Bremby. “By wearing red, you will be joining in the effort to help eradicate this preventable disease in Kansas and across the nation.”

Ransom, who admits she had never given heart disease much thought, suffered a heart attack in November 2001. Ransom offered the following advice to women:

Since her heart attack, Ransom has worked hard to ensure that her heart stays healthy and recommends that women follow their doctor’s recommendations. “Why would you pay good money to your doctor and then fail to take his or her advice?” she asked.

Risk for heart disease depends upon family and personal health history and the treatment recommendations from a physician will depend on a woman’s level of risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following lifestyle modifications for all women: