Why is everyone wearing red?

courtesy Sasia Manigo

CONWAY, S.C. (WPDE) - Here's a fact that might surprise you: according to the American Heart Association since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease. That's why many people are wore red Friday, to bring awareness to a national campaign highlighting the dangers of heart disease. Specifically how it affects women because heart disease is the number one cause of death among American women.

All over social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, people posted pictures of themselves wearing red. For the last ten years, February 1 has been designated "Go Red for Women" day. Sasia Manigo posted pictures in honor of her grandmother. Vivian Manigo died in 2007 from congestive heart failure.

"It really took us by surprise when they let us know that was her diagnosis with congestive heart failure it was just very surprising," she explained.

Months before her death Manigo recalled what could now be seen as a warning sign, "I will never forget I kept a phone message from her. And you could hear the erraticness in her breathing while she was just struggling to have a mere conversation and it was hard for her to talk."

Manigo says her grandmother never complained about chest pains so the family didn't suspect anything was wrong. And that's where one of the misconceptions begins.

Heart attack symptoms in women include shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

About two weeks ago Manigo lost a co-worker to a heart related issue, a dissected aortic aneurysm. He was only 41-years-old.

"It was very traumatic for everyone here in the office because he was here with us that day. You know some of us went with him to the hospital. Then on the very next day he's gone," she added.

To reduce your risk for heart disease, experts say lifestyle changes are key. Regular physical activity and a healthy diet go a long way.

"I made the conscious effort after she passed away to really be more conscientious in the way that I eat, and especially not just for me but my child because children will emulate what you do," she explained.

Experts suggest regular visits to the doctor to get your cholesterol, fasting blood glucose, and blood pressure checked.

According to the American Heart Association, one in three women die each year from heart disease. That's compared to one in 31 American women who die from breast cancer.