It's not a stretch to say Marcia Ransom didn't think much about heart disease - until she suffered a heart attack two years ago.
Marcia is a prime example of the message health care professionals are trying to spread.
"Heart disease is not just a man's disease," says Cotton-O'Neil Heart Center Nurse Carol Frazee, RN. "It's the number one killer of women."
Frazee said the first challenge for women is recognizing how their symptoms differ from a man's.
"Without the chest discomfort or with, they may have discomfort in the jaw, the neck, shoulders. They may just have a feeling of just fatigue," Frazee said.
Marcia says that was the case with her symptoms. To let other women know her story, she's wearing a lapel pin of a red dress. It's for the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" campaign, urging everyone to wear red Friday, February 6.
"We need to get out there and let women be aware of the fact that they need to get help," Frazee said. "They need to follow up and take care of their own health."
They can do that by quitting smoking and keeping an eye on blood pressure and cholesterol.
"It's mainly working with your physician, getting in, getting your physical done, knowing what your lab results are as far as your cholesterol is concerned, and taking action and getting it under control," Frazee said.
The public is invited to help the Heart Association win the war against heart disease by attending this year's "Magic of the Heart" gala. It takes place Saturday, February 21, at Washburn's Memorial Union.
Call 228-3435 for ticket information.