Redressing the Red Dress
Rethinking the Campaign
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Since 2002, female cardiovascular mortality has significantly decreased. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wonder Search Database, 491 713 American women died of cardiovascular disease in 2002 compared with 399 028 in 2014. This improvement has been attributed in part to the joint efforts of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Heart Truth campaign, the American Heart Association and the Go Red for Women Campaign, WomenHeart, the campaign of the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, and the Women’s Heart Alliance, along with many partners, who joined efforts to increase the awareness of heart disease in women. As with all epidemiological findings, it is a challenge to tease out which factors have led to the improvements in cardiovascular outcomes in women. Understanding what worked and what did not will guide the development and implementation of future campaigns aimed at further reducing cardiovascular mortality.
What Has Worked?
Data from surveys suggest that awareness about heart disease has significantly increased, with larger increases in whites than in Latinos and blacks.1 Women are more likely to be aware that heart disease is the number 1 killer of women, yet percentages remain suboptimal (≈55%). Although the Go Red and Red Dress campaigns targeted women between 40 and 60 years of age, increased awareness in healthcare providers due to the …