MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Were you seeing red Friday? It's National Wear Red Day, part of the American Heart Association's 'Go Red for Women' campaign.
Heart disease is the number one killer of women. The movement is designed to empower ladies to take control of their health. The message is especially important here in the Mid-South.
"It hits close to home here in the Mid-South. We're the epicenter of heart disease and stroke," says AHA volunteer Lindsey Harmon.
Southern states are the top states for women's number one killer. Heart disease claims more than half a million lives each year.
"You might hear breast cancer. Actually it's not number one," Harmon says. "It's heart disease."
Friday's National Wear Red Day is designed to raise awareness "to have women get their physicals and get their check-ups and know their numbers."
Every first Friday in February, millions across the country don red as a reminder.
"I have some family members and friends who are affected," says Byron Porter. "An aunt."
Students and staff at UT's Health Science Center in Memphis had fun with the day.
"I did a little modeling," Porter laughs.
The school put on fashion show fundraiser, bringing in $1,100 for the American Heart Association.
"The issue with women is in the diagnoses," Dr. Santhosh Koshy, Director of UT's Interventional Cardiology, tells abc24.com. He says women should be aware of the risks no matter their age.
"Even as a child, the disease process starts." Ladies in their 20s, 30s and 40s should start modifying their lifestyles.
"Get regular exercise," Dr. Koshy says. "If you're a smoker, stop smoking. Eat a good diet low in cholesterol and fatty foods. If you have diabetes, make sure it's controlled."
"We're trying to save lives is really the bottom line," Harmon says.