The Employee Wellness Program at West Virginia University is encouraging WVU employees and students to wear red Friday (Feb. 6) as part of National Wear Red Day. The event is to raise awareness about the impact of heart disease on women.

National Wear Red Day is a great opportunity to reach out to the University community and alert people to their personal risk factors for heart disease,said Kimberly Zaph, WVU Wellness Program manager.By joining together, we can raise awareness about heart disease and help lead our community on the path to prevention.

Health experts call heart disease the No. 1 killer of men and women.

Most women dont know that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, and millions do not take their risk of heart disease personally or seriously,Zaph said.Many men may worry about prostate cancer, but the top threat to American mens health is heart disease. Health experts estimate that a 40-year-old man faces a 49 percent chance of developing heart disease during the rest of his life. Nearly 2,500 Americans die of heart disease each daythats one every 35 seconds.

WVU s work-site wellness coordinators are offering custom programs to work sites and helping to spread the word about heart health, Zaph added. Some examples of activities include heart healthy luncheons, walking groups during lunch breaks andLunch&Learneducational sessions.

WVU Employee Wellness can also arrange on-site health screenings to keep employees aware of their risk factors and target numbers for good and bad cholesterol, glucose body fat and more. Employees can calculate their 10-year risk of having a heart attack through a tool available on the Employee Wellness Web site: employeewellness.wvu.edu/ .

Wear Red Day is being held in conjunction withThe Heart Truth,a national awareness campaign warning women about their risk of heart disease. The campaign is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute , part of the National Institutes of Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services .

For more information about women and heart disease, see www.hearttruth.gov or call the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Health Information Center at 301-592-8573.