WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Feb. 3 is National Wear Red Day. It is celebrated each year on the first Friday in February.

The day is to bring greater attention to heart disease, the leading cause of death for women in the U.S.

“We are focusing on women’s health and making our hearts stronger and healthier. And when you look at your sister, your aunt, your niece, your best friend, one in three of those women will die from heart disease,” said Amanda Marino, Go Red For Women Wichita chair.

Marino says it’s common to meet women impacted by heart disease on a daily basis, even if we don’t know it. She believes wearing red is a simple and free way to make a big difference. 

“If I left tomorrow and everyone was wearing red and it wasn’t just for the Chiefs, but if everyone’s out there wearing red tomorrow, that would make me realize that we can make an impact in the state of Kansas and in our community,” Marino said.

Marino has been working with the American Heart Association for over 20 years, beginning as an undergraduate student at Oklahoma City University. Her sorority, Alpha Phi, focused its philanthropic work on heart health. Now, she strives to create equal opportunities for all women to live healthy lives.

“I see it a lot, as an adoption attorney, that maternal health is so important. And many times, an adopted family or a mom is greatly affected by heart disease during pregnancy. It’s a greater impact than we know and realize. And some of that inequity in health care is important to focus on,” Marino said.

While women’s heart health is the concentration for Friday, the entire month of February is American Heart Month. This year, the American Heart Association is emphasizing training in hands-only CPR. They say it could save someone’s life.

“The hands-only CPR is very different than the old traditional way. And we’re hoping that one person in every household can learn lifesaving measures with CPR for that quick response to the emergency,” Marino added.

Find resources to support women’s heart health at every age at GoRedforWomen.org. You can also make a donation.

Signs and Symptoms of Heart Attack

If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness
  • As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort

But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.