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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
February 2, 2007
Mrs. Bush's Remarks to Press Pool After Roundtable on the Heart Truth
Bryant Park Hotel
New York, New York.
10:37 A.M. EST
MRS. BUSH: Well, this is the fifth anniversary of the Heart Truth campaign that we're celebrating today, all of us wearing our red during American Heart Month. And this is an opportunity to mark the progress we've made: More women are now aware that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. More women are living with heart disease, fewer deaths each year since the campaign has started -- which is really great news.
But it also means that women are living with heart disease and need special support from support groups and from the medical community and from their own families, really, as they try to build lives that are normal, like they had before they had heart disease.
But a lot of women in the room, including Dr. Nabel, are the ones who started the Heart Truth campaign out of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and the Women's Health Office at the Department of Health. So I want to congratulate them on the great progress they've made.
I also want to encourage women around the country to take heart disease personally, to take it seriously, to look at each one of their risks. Women all know what the risks are, but I'll repeat them: obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, no exercising -- what's the fifth, is that it?
DR. NABEL: Family history.
MRS. BUSH: Family history of heart disease, post-menopausal. If you have any of those risks in your background, be sure to go see your doctor. Know what your numbers are, know what your blood pressure is and your cholesterol is. Also be aware that women don't have the classic -- might not have the classic symptoms of a heart attack that we associate with men. A lot of times women have extreme fatigue, they might have a jaw or a neck pain, or a burning in the back -- not really the symptoms that we associate with a heart attack.
So if you are feeling any symptoms like that, go straight to your doctor or to the emergency room, don't wait. One reason women suffer more heart damage is because they don't go to the doctor or to the emergency room as fast as they would send their husband. So be sure, if you think you're having any sort of symptoms, to check with your doctor. And if you know you have risks -- if you've smoked for years, if you have heart disease in your family -- go to your doctor now and see what you can do to stop smoking and to increase your heart health.