Special events in June focus on women and heart disease

By Eve Harris

Three UCSF special events in June focus on raising awareness of women’s risk of heart disease—the leading killer of American women.

The events are being held in coordination with a national public information campaign on women and heart disease by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) called The Heart Truth.  All events are open to the public.

As part of the campaign, a display of red dresses by renowned designers is touring the country.  The traveling collection of dresses from 26 designers has been on display over the past year in Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia, and San Diego. 

The San Francisco tour includes dresses by Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Badgley Mischka and Ralph Lauren. 

* WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2—A lecture by cardiologist UCSF Kirsten Fleischman, MD,  will look at helping women discover what they can do to lower their risk. The talk, “A Heart-to-Heart About Women’s Heart Disease,” will be held at 7 pm in Herbst Hall at the UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion, 1600 Divisadero St, San Francisco. Tickets to the talk are $15. Fleischman is a UCSF assistant professor of medicine and her talk is part of the UCSF Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. 

For information call 415-476-5808 or visit http://lifelonglearning.ucsf.edu

* SUNDAY, JUNE 6-A “Red Dress Gala” will take place at Green Gables in Woodside, Calif., from 3 to 8 pm. 

The designer red dresses will be on display.  The Gala and all local Heart Truth events are sponsored by the UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. 

The Center of Excellence is developing programs to educate women and help them modify their lifestyles—changes that the NHLBI said can lower women’s risk of heart disease by as much as 82 percent. Tickets to the gala are $200. 

For information call 415-353-2668 or visit http://www.ucsf.edu/coe/red_invitation_2004.pdf .

* MONDAY, JUNE 7— The designer dresses will be on display at the UCSF Women’s Health Center, 2356 Sutter St., San Francisco. UCSF Women’s Health providers will check blood pressure for the public and offer information about preventing heart disease from 9 am until 5 pm, free of charge.  For information call 415-353-2668 or visit http://www.ucsf.edu/coe/.

Fewer than half of American women know that heart disease is the leading killer of women. And women are more worried about cancer than heart disease - especially breast cancer, according to the National Council on the Aging. Yet heart disease is the leading cause of death in American women, accounting for 366,000 deaths in 2000.

The Heart Truth national awareness campaign first introduced the “red dress” as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness during American Heart Month at fashion week in February 2003.

For more information about The Heart Truth and its red dress symbol, visit www.hearttruth.gov.