NORFOLK - Today is National Wear Red Day - a day when The American Heart Association asks everyone to wear red to help raise awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of women.

Association officials say more than 627,000 women's lives have been saved because of the funds raised for research and through programs to educate women about the signs and symptoms of heart disease.

Dr. Philip Snider is a family physician with Bon Secours Medical Group. He recommends women should have their BMI, cholesterol, LDL and insulin levels tested.

Dr. Snider says to check your LDL number and the LDL particle number size. 'We now know can find smaller particles that can get across artery walls and get across the artery walls more easily.'

He says to measure inflammation markers like insulin levels, that can cause blood flow restriction.

'We can measure some hormones in your fat cells to see if they are metabolically misbehaving,' said Snider.

In obese people, he measures the levels of leptin and adiponectin, because, 'Your body can get resistant to it.'

Dr. Snider says that if your body makes too much insulin, your pancreas gets overworked and then, 'Your pancreas cells die and you get diabetes.'

Dr. Snider says that mini-strokes and kidney disease are an indication of how you're blood vessels work. 'In men, erectile dysfunction in an indicator of how blood vessels work. Any of those organs that aren't working like their supposed to is an indicator that the heart isn't getting the blood flow that it needs,' he said.

In terms of helping the next generation Dr Snider advises that you teach them to deal with their stress better. Also, have a meal at the table together and serve the food from the stove rather than the table to avoid over eating.

The doctors top advice is to get rid of the sugar in your diet. It's the number one cause of inflammation.

This is this 10th year of the Go Red for Women campaign and the first Hampton Roads Go Red for Women Luncheon is coming up. It's May 8th at The Chamberlin on Fort Monroe in Hampton.

Proceeds will go towards heart disease research and education specifically for women.

For more information on tickets or sponsorship or to volunteer, call the American Heart Association Hampton Roads office at 757-628-2610 or go to its Website.

Did you know?:
-Heart disease causes one in three women's deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.
-An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease.
-90-percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
-64% of women who died suddenly of heart disease show no previous symptoms and 10,000 women under the age of 45 suffer a heart attack this year.

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