The red dress has become an American icon. Since its introduction a few years ago as the symbol of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement, the red dress stands on its own. When you see the red dress worn on a lapel, adorning a handbag, as a decal or in any number of forms, you think of women and heart disease.
Before the red dress, only one out of three women realized they were at risk for heart disease — the No. 1 killer of women in America. Today, more than two out of three women — that’s twice as many — are aware of their risks for heart disease.
The awareness campaign is working. By now, most women have learned what they need to do to be heart healthy. Eat right. Exercise. Quit smoking. Reduce stress. Make and keep an appointment with your doctor.
The next step is to take action. Today, the Go Red For Women movement is calling on all women to change their lifestyles and set an example for family members and friends.
You can start now. Here’s how:
• Become part of the movement at www.goredforwomen. org. Check your risk factors online. Learn what you need to do to live a heart-healthy life.
• Know your numbers like you know your dress size (i.e. blood pressure, cholesterol levels and more).
• Eat right. Check out some of the heart-healthy recipes in this special Cleveland Magazine supplement or online at www.americanheart.org
• Exercise. Be inspired by the stories included in this supplement about the women who have had life-changing experiences.
• Learn how you can support the movement and become involved as a volunteer or contributor.
• Attend Cleveland’s Go Red For Women Breakfast and Health Expo on Friday, February 29, at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. For more information, call (216) 791-7500.
Thanks to the red dress symbol, millions of women are now aware of their risks for heart disease. Now, we need to do something about it. Go Red!
Cleveland-area American Heart Association Volunteer President, Board of Trustees