Many Iowans will be wearing red today for a good cause. Cassie Wessing, with the Des Moines Chapter of the American Heart Association, says National Wear Red Day is designed to raise awareness about the number one killer of women – heart disease. Wessing is hoping Iowans will take it a step further and “go red” the entire month.

“Wear red, decorate your house, business or office red. Anything you can think of. We want the whole world to be red through the month of February,” Wessing says. National Wear Red Day, held annually on February 1, was created 10 years ago.

“At that time, women didn’t really think of heart disease as a disease for them, it was an ‘old man’s’ disease,” Wessing says. “Even health care professionals didn’t really think of treating women and heart disease in personal ways and according to their body types.”

The American Heart Association reports, since the first Wear Red Day 10 years ago, 21% fewer women are dying from heart disease.

“We started this campaign, really, to raise awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of women. It’s not just happening to men,” Wessing said.

Other events are scheduled this month in Iowa to raise both awareness and money toward the fight against heart disease. That includes The Heart Ball on February 16 at the Embassy Suites in downtown Des Moines.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City