February 3 marks National Wear Red Day, a holiday to raise awareness for cardiovascular disease in women. It’s also the start of American Heart Month. The holiday was created by the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in 2003.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the U.S., according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC reports that 289,758 women were killed in 2013 from heart disease, making up one in four of all female deaths that year.
The CDC notes that the same number of women and men die on average each year. It is the leading cause of death for both African American and white women in the U.C. and 64 percent of all women who die from heart disease showed no previous symptoms.
According to the CDC, the conditions and choices that can put a person at risk for heart disease include diabetes, overweight and obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol use. Symptoms of heart disease include heart attack, arrhythmia, heart failure and stroke.