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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
February 1, 2005

Interview of the First Lady by CBS News
The Diplomatic Reception Room

7:49 A.M. EST

Q Heart Disease is the number one killer of women in this country. So First Lady Laura Bush is working to educate them about the problem. Later today, she'll join the President when he signs a proclamation declaring February, America Heart Month. And she's also part of the new awareness campaign called the Heart Truth.

Mrs. Bush, good morning, to you.

MRS. BUSH: Good morning, Renee.

Q There really seems to be a little bit of a disconnect here in that almost half of all women know that heart disease is the number one killer of women. And, yet, a large portion of them don't think that it will happen to them. How will you in now your third year in this campaign -- how will you work to change that?

MRS. BUSH: Well, a lot of women didn't know that heart disease was the number one killer of women. They thought it was a man's disease. If they suffered any symptoms of a heart attack, they were slow going to the hospital when they would, of course, rush their husband or their boyfriend to the hospital.

So that's one of the messages of the Heart Truth campaign, is that if you start to suffer any symptoms of a heart attack to go straight to the emergency room.

But another thing is, women really can change their lifestyles, and if they do that, they can prevent heart disease. We know that women who have healthy eating, who maintain a good weight and who exercise can prevent heart disease. And because most women still do most of the cooking around American homes, they also can really influence the lives of their children and make sure their children grow up without developing heart disease.

Q Absolutely. There are some key things that women need to do to avoid heart disease -- among them, don't smoke. You talked about that just a minute ago.

MRS. BUSH: That's right.

Q Eat a healthy diet and be physically active. And that's something that really you have made a part of your own life recently, haven't you?

MRS. BUSH: That's right. I've been lifting weights now for about three years, three times a week, if I can. And I've always liked to walk. And that's the good news about exercise. It doesn't have to be marathon running, just going for a walk -- getting up off the couch and going for a walk every day. And not only is it good for you physically, but I also think it's great mentally to go for a walk and, if possible, to walk outside and breathe some fresh air.

Q It is good for your head, absolutely. If I could for a moment, Mrs. Bush, I'd like to ask you about this. The elections in Iraq that we saw over the weekend, the images were so incredibly powerful. We saw the purple finger. We saw people being carried to the polls who hadn't voted in 50 years. We saw people dancing in the streets. I'm curious what your reaction was when you saw those images.

MRS. BUSH: Well, I was very, very moved, just like I think most Americans were as we watched. It was a really very thrilling day for the Iraqi people. We'd awakened really early. We always get up about 5:00 a.m., and George called the Situation Room immediately to find out what was happening there. And we were so encouraged from that point on.

I think most Americans were very moved as they watched it, and I also think it really reinforced our idea of wanting to stand with the Iraqi people; just like after the vote in Afghanistan, wanting to stand with the people of Afghanistan as they build their democracies.

Q Mr. Bush, thank you for your time this morning. Good luck as you work to get the message out about a heart healthy lifestyle and heart disease awareness.

MRS. BUSH: Thanks so much, Renee.

Q Good to see you again. Thank you, Mrs. Bush.

MRS. BUSH: Thanks a lot.

END 7:52 A.M. EST

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