Friday kicked off the American Heart Associations' Go Red for Women campaign. The month long campaign encourages people to wear red to spread awareness about the rise of heart disease in women.
Cardiologist and vice president of Buffalo cardiology and pulmonary associates Dr. JoAnne L. Cobler said the Buffalo/Niagara region has the highest death rate for cardiovascular disease and doctors are unsure why, but she said it makes it that much more important to get educated about the warning signs.
"We have to make sure that women advocate for themselves and pay attention. If they have any decrease in their exercise tolerance, any discomfort, shortness of breath really pay attention to those symptoms. Look at your risk factors high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, obesity, these are all things that women need to be aware of and make changes," said Cobler.
Cobler said women are more susceptible because they don't notice the symptoms. She said more women die of heart disease then all forms of cancer combined, but it can be prevented.
"You want a low fat diet, you want to get rid of the fried foods, you want to bake things, eat fish, turkey, really avoid red meat. Make sure your getting vegetables, green vegetables are especially good and fruits. You really want to avoid the fatty foods, look at portions as-well and exercise, it's extremely important," said Cobler.
Heart attack survivor Chrislan Manuel said knowing the warning signs saved her life.
"The biggest advice for women is don't over think it trust your instincts and go get it checked out. Don't be afraid to go to the emergency room, that time you spend talking yourself out of it is time that could result in whether you live or die,"said Manuel.
The Erie County commissioner of health Dr. Gale R. Burstein named February 3rd as the official day for Western New Yorkers to wear red in support of the effort.