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National Wear Red Day works to raise awareness, fight heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

Organizations like the American Heart Association are asking people to help raise awareness on Friday, Feb. 3, by wearing red.

In its 15th year, according to the American Heart Association, Wear Red Day falls on the first Friday of each February.

Advocates say the bold color serves as a reminder to pay attention to heart health and to bring national attention to the fact that heart disease is the number one killer of women and men.

Experts say, each year cardiovascular diseases kill nearly one in three women. That's about one woman every 80 seconds. By comparison, heart disease takes more lives than all forms of cancer combined. 80-percent of them may be preventable.

Minimizing controllable risk factors could be the difference between life and death. People are encouraged to begin by knowing their numbers and then making life changes.

For more information on heart disease/stroke and the Go Red Campaign, visit the American Heart Association website. For local information about Wear Red Day and local events call 616-482-1501.

The American Heart Association of West Michigan is partnering with organizations like Blue Cross Blue Shield, and others, all month to champion heart health awareness.

Events include:

Wear Red Day on Friday, Feb. 3 - Businesses and Buildings that will 'Go Red' are Macy's; Mercy Health; Blue Cross Blue Shield; The Blue Bridge over the Grand River; MacKay Tower; Malamiah Juice Bar-Paper Heart and Red Dress pins by donation; Heartland Health Care Center-facility tour, paper heart sales; Standard Lumber and Supply-Paper Heart Sales in all 9 retail stores; Classic Hair Design-Paper Heart and Red Dress pins by donation (in memory of a stylist they lost to a heart attack last year); ARGI Financial-Jeans Day and Varnum, LLP-Jeans Day.

Go Red For Women Luncheon on Friday, Feb. 24 - 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the DeVos Place, Grand Rapids.

The Little Hats, Big Hearts program for newborns continues with 4,000 hats distributed - Hospitals participating include Mercy Health Grand Rapids and Mercy Health Muskegon.

• Two Twitter Chats on heart health and prevention.