News Release

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Heart Truth Unveils First Ladies Red Dress Collection

Mrs. Laura Bush and six former First Ladies support The Heart Truth campaign’s effort to raise awareness that heart disease is the #1 killer of women.

Who: Nancy Reagan, First Lady of the United States (1981-1989)
Larry King, Host, Larry King Live, and Founder, Larry King Cardiac Foundation
R. Duke Blackwood, Director, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, and Executive Director, Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation
Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., Director, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Mary Hart, Host, Entertainment Tonight
Todd Magazine, President, Quaker Foods

What: Unveiling of The Heart Truth’s First Ladies Red Dress Collection exhibit, featuring Red Dresses and suits worn by America's seven living First Ladies. As continued supporters of The Heart Truth, Mrs. Laura Bush, the national ambassador for The Heart Truth campaign, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mrs. Barbara Bush, Mrs. Nancy Reagan, Mrs. Rosalynn Carter, Mrs. Betty Ford, and Mrs. Claudia (Lady Bird) Johnson have contributed red dresses and suits from their personal collections for a limited viewing at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Also premiering publicly are six Red Dresses worn earlier this month in New York City by celebrities in The Heart Truth’s Red Dress Collection 2007 Fashion Show, including the Carmen Marc Valvo dress worn by Mary Hart. This showing of the collection is made possible with the support of Quaker Oatmeal.

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. NHLBI launched the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness in 2002.

Why: Progress has been made in increasing awareness among women that heart disease is their leading cause of death — up from 34 percent in 2000 to 57 percent in 2006 — but challenges remain. One in four American women dies of heart disease, and most women fail to make the connection between risk factors, including smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and their personal risk of developing heart disease. The Heart Truth urges women to talk to their doctor about their personal risk for heart disease and take steps to lower that risk.

When: Friday, February 16, 2007 (February is American Heart Month)
10:00 a.m. — Quaker Oatmeal Breakfast
10:50 a.m. — First Ladies Red Dress Collection Ceremonial Ribbon Cutting
11:00 a.m. — Program
11:45 a.m. — First Ladies Red Dress Collection Opens for Touring

The Heart Truth’s First Ladies Red Dress Collection will exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library from Friday, February 16, through Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13, 2007.

Where: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley, CA

More Information: For more information about The Heart Truth, visit To arrange an interview or for more information, contact Sally McDonough at 202-729-4215, or the NHLBI Communications Office at 301-496-4236 or

Part of the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) plans, conducts, and supports research related to the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart, blood vessel, lung, and blood diseases; and sleep disorders. The Institute also administers national health education campaigns on women and heart disease, healthy weight for children, and other topics. NHLBI press releases and other materials are available online at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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