THURSDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The star power gathered on the runway was impressive and so were the red-hot designer frocks, all on display at the 10th annual "The Heart Truth" Red Dress Collection fashion show, held in New York City on Wednesday night.
The Red Dress Collection, sponsored by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, hopes to "get women to recognize that everyone carries some degree of heart disease risk," explained Dr. Nakela Cook, a medical officer and cardiologist at the institute.
"It's important to identify exactly what kind of risk each of us has, by talking to our physicians, engaging in a back and forth, and getting a personalized sense of where we're at and what steps can actually be taken in terms of prevention," Cook said.
Among those strutting down the runway were supermodel Christie Brinkley, ageless "Dynasty" star Linda Evans, Idina Menzel from "Glee," pop superstar Gloria Estefan and music legend Chaka Khan.
"I am here to be of service," Khan, 58, said backstage, as assistants made final adjustments to dresses in shades of red from designers such as Diane von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, Nicole Miller, Oscar de la Renta and Narciso Rodriguez.
"Heart disease does run in my family, on my father's side," added the multiple-Grammy winner. "So any way I can help raise awareness about this important issue is something I want to be a part of. Because many women aren't even aware of the issue, and I do think this will do a lot to spread the word."
Cook and her colleagues believe that about one-third of American women still underestimate their own level of heart risk. But they also noted that awareness has nearly doubled since The Heart Truth campaign (co-sponsored by Diet Coke) launched a decade ago.
All those scarlet fashions coming down the runway each year have helped, Cook said.
"We think that nearly 60 perc
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