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Stars Strut in Red to Bring Awareness to Women's Heart Health
Date:2/7/2013

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Olympic gymnastics champion Gabby Douglas wowed the crowd in crimson, actress/designer Kelly Osbourne flaunted cherry red, and pop star Toni Braxton strutted in ruby Wednesday evening in New York City, all part of the annual Red Dress Collection show to boost awareness of women's heart health.

The catwalk show -- a flagship event of New York Fashion Week for a decade -- is part of The Heart Truth campaign, sponsored by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Each year, celebrities turn into runway models dressed in red designer attire, to spread the word that heart disease remains women's No. 1 killer.

It's an issue that fashion show participant and NBC Today show co-host Savannah Guthrie understands all too well.

"My father died of a heart attack when I was 16," Guthrie said. "So, it's something that I care a lot about. And particularly in terms of women. Because the fact of the matter is that I think a lot of women still don't recognize that it is the number one killer. So, to be part of this event is really important.

"Of course it's wonderful that it's wrapped up in this little bit of glamour," added Guthrie, who walked the runway in fire-engine red Carolina Herrera. "I mean who doesn't love a red dress? But what's really wonderful is that it's delivering a serious message."

There are some serious, sobering statistics on the issue, too. According to the American Heart Association, more than 43 million American women are affected by heart disease, but only one in every five believes it is women's greatest health threat. And while one in every 31 women will die from breast cancer, heart disease will claim the lives of one out of every three women.

But experts say The Heart Truth campaign and its iconic Red Dress is having a positive impact.

"About 60 percent of American women now re
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