"Every 2 minutes a woman dies of heart disease," said Dearing Johns, the Director of Women's Cardiology at UVA Medical Center.
These are startling statistics that Linda Dodd said she was not going to be a part of. "I recognized the fact that I wasn't feeling very well, and started with my primary care doctor and discovered I had potential for high blood pressure," said Dodd.
She began her battle to lose weight and get healthy. "I made an all out effort to do that through exercise and making healthy choices for food," said Dodd.
Dodd dropped 30 pounds and was able to participate in the heart healthy walk at the hospital on Friday, February 4th. "I feel great, wonderful, I have more energy."
Dodd said she used that energy to help her family take a healthy approach as well. "We all lost weight, even the kids."
But doctors said it's not just high blood pressure you have to watch out for, it's "smoking, lack of exercise, cholesterol abnormalities. All of these contribute," said Johns.
Although the disease effects both men and women, doctors said it's more of a severe problem for women. "Women are unaware of it, they don't recognize when they are at risk," said Johns.
February 4th, 2005 has been declared national 'Wear Red' day. All February long the University of Virginia Medical Center is offering a program called 'Red Dress'. It's all in an effort to red alert women to take heart disease seriously.