First Lady Laura Bush's Red Dress on Tour for First Time
From March 26-28, The Heart Truth Road Show a traveling exhibit about women's heart health, sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will visit Chicago to deliver an urgent heart health wake-up call to local women.
Complete with free risk factor screenings for heart disease and educational materials, the traveling exhibit features a magnificent display of The Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection which includes designs by Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Carolina Herrera, and Mrs. Bush's Oscar de la Renta red suit, on tour for the first time. The Heart Truth's Red Dress is the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness. It is a red alert that heart disease is the #1 killer of women and an urgent reminder to every woman to care for her heart.
"The Heart Truth Road Show takes important messages about heart health directly to women in local communities so they can learn about their personal risk factors for heart disease-and understand that heart disease is a woman's #1 health threat," said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson.
In Chicago, The Heart Truth Road Show will provide more than 1,000 women with free heart disease risk factor screenings and testing for diabetes, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and body mass index. Heart disease risk factors include those that are beyond a woman's control and those that can be changed. Those that can't be changed are a family history of early heart disease and age (55 and older for women). The risk factors that can be controlled are smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, overweight/obesity, physical inactivity, and diabetes. While having even one risk factor is dangerous, having multiple risk factors is especially serious because risk factors tend to 'gang up' and worsen each other's effects.
"It is important to encourage every woman to talk to her doctor about her risks for heart disease and to start taking action to lead a heart healthy life," said Barbara Alving, M.D., Acting Director, NHLBI.
The Heart Truth Road Show exhibit will be at the River Oaks Center in Calumet City, Illinois (96 River Oaks Center, 159th Street & Torrence Avenue) and will be open to the public on:
• Friday, March 26 from 3:00-9:00 p.m.
• Saturday, March 27 from 12:00-6:00 p.m.
• Sunday, March 28 from 12:00-6:00 p.m.
Research shows that women are more worried about cancer than heart disease especially breast cancer. According to a survey commissioned by the American Heart Association, only 13 percent of women believe heart disease is their greatest health risk 35 percent of women put breast cancer as their top concern. Yet, heart disease, which includes coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, angina, and other conditions, is the leading cause of death in American women, accounting for 366,000 deaths in 2000.
Johnson & Johnson is the presenting sponsor of The Heart Truth Road Show. National sponsors include: LifeWiseTM by RadioShack, Johnson & Johnson Reach® Dental Floss, Cordis Corporation, and Jewel-Osco. The Heart Truth Road Show community partners include: American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the DHHS Office on Women's Health, and WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.
"Johnson & Johnson is pleased to help focus public attention on heart disease through efforts such as The Heart Truth Road Show," said Nancy Snyderman, M.D., Vice President, Medical Affairs, Johnson & Johnson. "Too many women are unaware of their risk factors and the prevalence and preventability of heart disease. We are committed to increasing awareness among women and those who love them," added Snyderman.
As announced by First Lady Laura Bush at the White House on February 2, 2004, the Road Show cities also include: Philadelphia (March 19-21), San Diego (April 2-4), Dallas (April 16-18), and Miami (April 30-May 2).
The Heart Truth is a national awareness campaign for women about heart disease, sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The campaign first introduced the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness during American Heart Month at Fashion Week in February 2003.
For more information about The Heart Truth and its Red Dress symbol, please visit www.hearttruth.gov.