The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
February 28, 2007

Mrs. Bush's Remarks After a Tour of the First Ladies Red Dress Collection
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Simi Valley, California


12:42 P.M. PST

MRS. BUSH: Well, I want to thank everybody, I want to thank the press so much for coming out to cover the red dresses. I want to thank you, Mrs. Reagan, for having the red dresses here at the Reagan Library.

The press is a very important partner in the message that the red dresses give, which is that heart disease is the leading cause of death among American women. And the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, uses the red dress as the symbol of heart health, as a way to get out to women that heart disease is the leading cause of death.

Most women think of heart attacks and heart disease as a man's disease, so they're later to go to the emergency room if they start to suffer any of the symptoms of a heart attack. Plus, sometimes women have different symptoms. They might not have the crushing chest pain that we read about that men have. They might have a pain in their jaw or in their neck, extreme fatigue, things that women just mark off as just a part of their life or as anxiety.

So it's very important for women, if you're starting to feel any of these symptoms, to go ahead and get straight to the emergency room. It's lifesaving for women. And so that's what the Red Dress message is, that heart disease doesn't case what you wear.

But I love to be here with Mrs. Reagan to see these beautiful clothes, because she, especially, of all of our recent first ladies, was so known for her style, her beautiful style. And you can see in this tiny little dress of hers -- (laughter) -- that no wonder she was known for such great style. The dress that's here of hers is what she wore when President Reagan was knighted -- or the Lord of the Bath, is that what you call it?

MRS. REAGAN: Knighted.

MRS. BUSH: Knighted at Buckingham Palace. And my dress that's here is the one I wore recently to the Kennedy Center Honors, and it ended up three other women had exactly the same dress, which goes to show women love red dresses. (Laughter.)

So I thought people would think it was fun to get to see this dress. Both of our dresses are Oscar de la Renta, the one that Mrs. Reagan wore a few years ago, and the one that I wore this year.

So thanks, you all. Thank you all for covering women's heart health. You're really our partners in getting the word out to women that heart disease -- they need to take, women need to take heart disease seriously and personally.

END 12:45 P.M. PST

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