Seventeen celebrities walked the runway in support of women's heart disease awareness at The Heart Truth Red Dress Fashion Show in New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom on Feb. 8, 2012.
As part of American Heart Month, on Feb. 8 the NHLBI's The Heart Truth® campaign, with the support of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, showcased the Red Dress Collection 2012 at Fashion Week in New York City.
The Heart Truth created and introduced the Red Dress in 2002 to deliver an urgent wake-up call to American women about heart disease. Each February since then, the Red Dress Fashion Show has showcased the power of the Red Dress to encourage women to take action to protect their heart health. In this year's tenth anniversary show, 17 celebrities helped bring the message to life by walking the runway in red dresses created by some of America's top designers.
You can watch a video of the fashion show on The Heart Truth's Facebook page or see pictures in its Flickr gallery. You can also see an NIH Vodcast episode about the fashion show on YouTube: 2012 Red Dress Fashion Show.
Due in part to events such as this, The Heart Truth and the Red Dress symbol are making a difference. Surveys show that women who report recently seeing or hearing about the Red Dress or The Heart Truth campaign are substantially more likely than other women to take risk-reducing action as a result.
Nevertheless, there is still much progress to be made. This week, the NHLBI and The Heart Truth partnered with the Mayo Clinic and WomenHeart on a special panel discussion for members of the media. Held in New York City, "In the Prime of her Life: an Update on Women and Cardiovascular Disease" highlighted the progress made and reflected on challenges still facing the women's heart health movement. Among the panel speakers were Nakela Cook, M.D., M.P.H., a medical officer in the NHLBI's Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, and Sharonne Hayes, M.D., director of the Women's Heart Clinic at Mayo Clinic and associate professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
"The discussion exceeded expectations. There was a remarkable turnout of representatives from more than 15 women-targeted magazines, all interested and engaged in how to get the word out to their readers that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women," said Dr. Cook. "There was vibrant discussion on understanding the risk factors for heart disease and how to communicate the message of The Heart Truth as relevant to both older and younger women."
Not only in American Heart Month but throughout the year, the NHLBI is committed to leading the nation in heart health research and awareness.