The Red Dress—the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness—was designed to build awareness that women are at risk for heart disease, and motivate them to take action to reduce their risk. At NYFW every year, The Red Dress Collection fashion show was held on the first day of fashion week, a Friday. It’s an exclusive event where dozens of notable personalities walk down the catwalk shining a light on heart disease in women, wearing the most fashionable frocks from notable designers in all shades of red. In the days when I was a celebrity photographer in NYC, I photographed several years of the show.
Causes of a Silent Heart Attack in Women
A silent heart attack happens when the flow of blood is blocked in the coronary arteries by a build up of plaque. Studies differ, but some suggest that silent heart attacks are more common in women than in men.
Women and their physicians may also be more likely to chalk up symptoms of a silent heart attack to anxiety and dismiss them.
Risk Factors for a Silent Heart Attack in Women
Still, Ekery says, the risk factors for a silent heart attack are the same as those for a recognized heart attack, and:
What to do during a silent heart attack.
The “silent” in a silent heart attack is the complicating factor—often, women don’t realize they’re experiencing a medical emergency. If you do notice symptoms of a silent heart attack, try to stay calm and call 911 immediately. When you get to the hospital, make it clear that you think you may be having a heart attack and not an anxiety attack. Advocate for yourself or, if you can, bring along someone who will advocate for you.
How to prevent a silent heart attack.
Ekery advises her patients to:
- know their risk factors,
- be aware of their blood pressure and cholesterol,
- exercise regularly and
- avoid smoking to decrease their risk of a heart attack.
- Above all, she cautions them to listen to their bodies, and if something isn’t right, talk to a doctor.
“People know their own bodies, and if something seems unusual, they ought to be evaluated,” she says, “particularly if they have any of those risks.”
Actress Cheryl Hines walks the runway at the Heart Truth Red Dress Collection 2008 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2008 at Bryant Park February 1, 2008 in New York City.
The Nation Goes Red in February
The first Friday each February, American Heart Month, the nation comes together, igniting a wave of red from coast to coast.
From landmarks to news anchors, neighborhoods to online communities; this annual groundswell unites millions of people for a common goal: the eradication of heart disease and stroke. Go Red and Give
At the 2008 Heart Truth Red Dress show Liza Minnelli was unannounced and took the audience by surprise at New York Fashion Week by singing her signature song “New York, New York” on the runway of The Heart Truth Red Dress show. It was a great ending to the show, and brought the fashionable audience to it’s feet in adornment. Head to Getty Images to see who else modeled at the 2008 Red Dress NYFW show.