Take it to Heart: Go Red - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

By reporter: Julie Humphreys

Take it to Heart: Go Red

From 1st lady, Laura Bush, to the women next to you in the office.  Many are wearing red today and it has to do with our hearts.

"i was walking up my stairs at home, shortness of breath, walking from parking lot to work, pain to the right of my chest. I was sleeping and a 200 lb weight was on my chest."

Rhonda Schultz was only 37 years old when those symptoms shook her to her core and sent her to the doctor. By then one of her main arteries was 90% blocked. She had by-pass surgery and now, 2 years later, sees her cardiologist regularly.

Rhonda says "I just want everyone to be aware, heart disease can happen to young healthy women. I worked out all the time, ate good, had low cholesterol,it can happen to anyone."

Rhonda did have a family history of heart disease. Dr. Susan Alexander says it's women like Rhonda who have historically gone undiagnosed for heart disease that need to take even 1 risk factor very seriously.

Dr. Susan Alexander, Cardiologist says "Those patients who have strong risk factors with any concerns. I really want to see these patients. Rhonda is not my only patient like this."

But she is one whose disease was caught in time. 240-thosand other women in our country die of heart disease each year.

One goal of the "Go Red Campaign" is awarness. A 2006 American Heart Association survey shows 57% of American women know that heart disease is the leading killer of women. Now, to reach the other 43-percent.

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