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Stars Don Red to Raise Awareness of Women's Heart Risk
Date:2/2/2008

Dress show is kickoff to national campaign on nation's top killer

SATURDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- "Nothing draws attention like a little red dress," noted First Lady Laura Bush, speaking in the heart of New York City's fashion district Friday.

The attention was really focused on a very serious issue -- the threat to American women from the nation's number one killer, heart disease.

The event: a star-studded catwalk kickoff to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) annual "Heart Truth" awareness campaign, which featured celebrities strutting their stuff on the catwalk wearing the symbol of the campaign, a red dress.

As the campaign's national ambassador, Mrs. Bush got right to the point. "The Heart Truth is this -- heart disease is the leading cause of death for American women," she told attendees, who included stars such as Liza Minnelli and supermodel Heidi Klum. Both later showed off red dresses on the runway.

The fashion fun carried a serious message.

"We tend to think of heart disease as a man's disease," said NHBLI Director Dr. Elizabeth Nabel. "But the truth is that since 1991 more women have died each year of heart disease than men. And that's why we began this campaign -- to communicate that, in fact, heart disease kills more women each year than all cancers combined."

Scheduled amid the semi-annual celebration of couture that is New York Fashion Week, the campaign's Red Dress Collection Fashion Show, now in its sixth year, is held on National Wear Red Day, Feb. 1. On that day each year, the NHLBI encourages women everywhere to don whatever shade of red they wish to champion the fight against cardiovascular disease.

This year's event brought together 15 luminaries from the worlds of film, television and music to brave Bryant Park's tented catwalk in red, one-of-a-kind creations specifically designed by top designers for the occasion.


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