ACC, NHLBI Shine Spotlight on Women's Heart Health

Through a public-private partnership, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) joined together to support women's heart health on Feb. 6 in New York City.

Leading up to The Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection 2013 Fashion Show, hosted by the NHLBI and the ACC, the College held the first-ever Women's Cardiovascular Health Symposium featuring US Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA; ACC President William Zoghbi, MD, FACC; NHLBI Director Gary Gibbons, MD; Million Hearts Executive Director Janet Wright, MD, FACC; Brigham's and Women Health Care President Elizabeth Nabel, MD, FACC and other ACC and cardiovascular health leaders.

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The town hall-style symposium focused on ways health care providers, patients and consumer groups can work together to support the goal of reducing heart disease among women and collectively advance the fight against heart disease. "[Heart disease] is the leading cause of death for women, yet women remain unaware it's their killer," said Benjamin.

The take home message from the symposium was the importance of patients taking a proactive approach to protecting their heart. "We don't need new medicines but alertness of one's risk factors," said Zoghbi. "Prevention trumps treatment."
Gibbons agreed, noting the need to address disparities in health care. He highlighted the ways NHLBI is working to empower populations that are understudied and under cared for. "It's all about the patients," he said.
Meanwhile, Nabel, the former head of NHLBI, provided an intriguing glimpse into the decade-long history of the Red Dress Collection Fashion Show and stressed how partnering with Diet Coke and now the ACC has enabled the campaign to reach millions of patients and elevate awareness of heart disease as the nation's leading killer. 
Immediately following the symposium 17 women "rocked" the runway for The Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection 2013 Fashion Show to once again shed light on the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness. Among the women, was Cindy Parsons, the first non-celebrity participant. Parsons, who received a standing ovation, is a participant in the "Follow the Fifty" campaign, a Heart Truth community grant program. For photos and video coverage visit the Heart Truth Facebook page.

Keywords: Heart Diseases, Cause of Death, Health Personnel, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (U.S.), Health Resources, New York City, Cardiology, Women's Health, Risk Factors, Diet, United States

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