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It's National Wear Red Day. Here's why you should stay on top of your heart health.

Dr. Sarika Desai, a cardiologist with Arizona Heart 360, screens Team 12's Jess Winters.

PHOENIX — February marks American Heart Month. The first Friday every February is also National Wear Red Day to spread awareness about heart disease and hopefully save lives.

What better time than today to schedule that appointment with your doctor to get checked!

“I think at least once in your life you should get your heart checked out particularly with women," Dr. Sarika Desai of Arizona Heart 360 in Phoenix said. "Women can display symptoms that are quite different than men and the pandemic has certainly delayed a lot of preventative testing that’s needed.”

Despite the devastating toll of COVID-19, heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the U.S. according to the CDC. 

"An EKG is a basic form of cardiac testing where we can actually determine the electrical activity of the heart and identify if someone is having a heart attack," Dr. Desai continued. "It takes one minute and it provides a ton of information."

Dr. Desai said symptoms can present very differently in men and women.

"Women can present with nausea, abdominal pain, profuse sweating, jaw pain, and that’s really different than what a man might be presenting with like an elephant sitting on his chest," she explained. "Women can present with that too but sometimes it's just shortness of breath that’s out of the ordinary."

According to the American Heart Association, every 80 seconds a woman in the U.S. dies from heart disease. Again, make that doctor's appointment with a cardiologist. Early detection is key.

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