FYI from the NHLBI Index
January 2012: Vol. 12, Issue 3
The Heart Truth and the Red Dress
Many women are now aware of the Red Dress®, which was introduced as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness
in 2002, and of the primary message that it is intended to convey – that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women
in the United States.
What many women may not know, however, is that The Heart Truth® campaign for which Red Dress® is the primary identifier is a
product of NIH efforts. It was the NIH that developed the idea of a national program to educate women about their risks for
heart disease and to recruit partner organizations to join in its sponsorship.
Although primarily directed toward women ages 40 to 60, the time when a woman's risk of heart disease starts to rise, the
messages of The Heart Truth® are important for all women: for young women because heart disease develops gradually and can
start at a young age, and for older women because it is never too late to take action to prevent and control the risk factors
for heart disease. Even those who have heart disease can improve their heart health and quality of life.
National Wear Red Day, this year to be held on Friday, February 3, is an opportunity to show support for heart disease
awareness among women.
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