Red was a very popular color around the nation and West Michigan on Friday.

Men and women participated in the Go Red for Women day, which brings awareness to heart disease, the number one killer of women, according to the American Heart Association.

At the age of 21, Brandee Chase, a registered nurse at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial in Fremont, Mich., learned during a physical that she suffered from high cholesterol.

“I ate good, very young, very active and I actually thought it was the wrong test; didn’t think it was my cholesterol numbers.” Chase said.

But genetics overruled her healthy lifestyle.

“I have a family history of heart disease on sides, my mother and my fathers. My mom, hers was probably real in my life because my grandmother passed away of a blood clot and struggled with atrial fibrillation and heart disease, coronary heart disease and had open heart surgery.” Brandee said.

Now at the age of 37, Brandee works as the Heart Caring Coordinator at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial.

“Men and women’s symptoms can be different; women can have symptoms that are vague.” Brandee added. She said women don’t always experience the crushing pain in their chest like men. Women might experience fatigue, shortness of breath and anxiety.

Brenda Dulaney-Connell  is a registered nurse who also is the Women’s Health Services Coordinator and Spirit of Women Coordinator for Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial.

“As women, we are often in charge of the family health care needs, 85 percent of health care decisions are made by the wife and mother.”

Dulaney-Connell added that the she does her part to train women to know more about themselves, that way they can know what to do to take care of his family.

“Fifty- percent of our total health and well being is related to our lifestyles, 20 percent related to genetics, 20 percent environment and really only 10 percent in terms of what medical care can do.” Dulaney-Connell stated.

One way you can do your heart a favor is by attending Spectrum’s “Day of Dance” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2012, at Newaygo Middle School. There will be different types of fun dances for all ages along with health screenings and free food.