The Heart Truth is that one in four American women dies of heart disease, and most fail to make the connection between risk factors—such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol—and their personal risk of developing heart disease.
The Heart Truth Campaign: Serious Messages about Women’s Heart Health
The Heart Truth is a national awareness campaign for women about heart disease sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Through the campaign, NHLBI leads the nation in a landmark heart health awareness movement that is being embraced by millions who share the common goal of better heart health for all women.
The Heart Truth campaign warns women about heart disease and provides tools to help them take action against its risk factors. It is primarily targeted to women ages 40 to 60, the time when a woman’s risk of heart disease begins to increase. However, it’s never too early—or too late—to take action to prevent and control risk factors since heart disease develops over time and can start at a young age—even in the teen years.
The campaign message is paired with an arresting visual—the Red Dress—designed to warn women that heart disease is their #1 killer. The Heart Truth created and introduced the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness in 2002 to deliver an urgent wake-up call to American women. The Red Dress reminds women of the need to protect their heart health, and inspires them to take action.
The Heart Truth partners include: The Office on Women's Health, DHHS; WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease; the American Heart Association; and other organizations committed to the health and well-being of women.
What’s a Red Dress Got to Do With It?
The Red Dress was designed to build awareness that women are at risk for heart disease, and motivate them to take action to reduce their risk. The creative concept of a Red Dress tested well with diverse women who cited its ability to get attention, convey the seriousness of heart disease, and change the perception that it is only a man’s issue.
The symbol links a woman’s focus on her “outer self” to the need to also focus on her “inner self,” especially her heart health. The Red Dress serves as a red alert to convey the message that “Heart Disease Doesn’t Care What You Wear—It’s the #1 Killer of Women.
So let's wear red to raise awareness about heart disease. It can begin as early as our teens.