Here’s the thing about heart disease: It’s sneaky. Forget the Hollywood depiction of a heart attack—the dramatic clutching of the chest and woozy stumble. For women, especially, the signs can be all too easy to overlook, including indigestion, dizziness and fatigue (and who isn’t tired?). Its subtlety is exactly what makes this disease so frightening, and so deadly.
That’s why education and awareness are the keys to beating heart disease. And the most important thing to be aware of is this: Heart disease is largely preventable. Up to 80 percent of cardiovascular events are linked to unhealthy choices, which means that almost everyone can lower their risk.
That fact alone has guided our mission to give the readers of Woman’s Day the tools and information they need to take charge of their heart health. Last year, we launched the Live Longer & Stronger Challenge. After a nationwide search, we chose six women who had, or were at risk of, heart disease to work with Woman’s Day nutrition columnist Joy Bauer, RD. Each woman received a customized eating plan, lifestyle tips and continued support throughout the six-month program. We revealed their incredible success (they lost a total of almost 320 pounds and lowered their blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides) in the February 2014 issue, proving that small changes really can add up to big results.
As part of our commitment to improving women’s heart health, Woman’s Day also hosts the Red Dress Awards. Through this annual event, we have been able to showcase the game-changers who are working so hard to raise awareness and eradicate heart disease, such as Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Mehmet Oz, former Surgeon General Regina Benjamin and Barbara Walters.
This year, we are thrilled to honor the Clinton Foundation for its work. After reading a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that emphasized the connections between childhood obesity and long-term cardiovascular disease, and then learning about the Clinton Foundation’s partnership with the American Heart Association to found the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, I knew the Foundation was on the front line of prevention and award-worthy.
I am so proud to present a 2014 Red Dress Award to the Clinton Foundation on February 11. We’re in this fight together—to raise awareness that prevention is key, and to help Americans live longer, stronger, healthier lives.