A project of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health

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The Heart Truth®
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About The Heart Truth

The Heart Truth is a national awareness and prevention campaign about heart disease in women sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Heart Truth Professional Education Website provides information for clinicians and educators about the prevention of heart disease in women including:

  • Links to consumer information and patient education materials
  • Links to evidence-based references for clinical decision making
  • Educational materials suitable for medical and nursing students, physician assistant students, primary practice physicians, and other health care providers
  • Links to web-based CME learning modules about heart disease and women

The Heart Truth campaign includes the following three components: professional education, patient education, and public awareness.

Professional education

The Office on Women's Health collaborated with the NHLBI to address the continuing education and training needs of health professionals about heart disease in women. A team of national experts from the National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health and the National Community Centers of Excellence in Women's Health developed an array of educational materials for use by educators, practicing health professionals and students. These materials include self study modules offering free CME/CEU credits and other resources which are available on this website. Learn more about the evaluation of this campaign on provider knowledge of women and heart disease.

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Patient education

The Heart Truth campaign offers individuals and organizations many easy to use materials, resources, and tools to help women learn about their risk of heart disease, and to take action to lower that risk.

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Public awareness: The Red Dress symbol

The Heart Truth first introduced the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness at Fashion Week in 2003. Since its introduction, women around the country have rallied around the Red Dress and are celebrating the cause and taking ownership of the symbol.

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The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) provides leadership for a national program in diseases of the heart, blood vessels, lung, and blood; blood resources; and sleep disorders. Since October 1997, the NHLBI has also had administrative responsibility for the NIH Woman's Health Initiative.

The Institute plans, conducts, fosters, and supports an integrated and coordinated program of basic research, clinical investigations and trials, observational studies, and demonstration and education projects. Research is related to the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart, blood vessel, lung, and blood diseases; and sleep disorders. The NHLBI plans and directs research in development and evaluation of interventions and devices related to prevention, treatment, and the rehabilitation of patients suffering from such diseases and disorders. It also supports research on the clinical use of blood and all aspects of the management of blood resources. Research is conducted in the Institute's own laboratories and by scientific institutions and individuals supported by research grants and contracts.

For health professionals and the public, the NHLBI conducts educational activities, including development and dissemination of materials in the above areas, with an emphasis on prevention.

The NHLBI supports research training and career development of new and established researchers in fundamental sciences and clinical disciplines to enable them to conduct basic and clinical research related to heart, blood vessel, lung, and blood diseases; sleep disorders; and blood resources through individual and institutional research training awards and career development awards.

The Institute coordinates relevant activities in the above areas, including the related causes of stroke, with other research institutes and federal health programs. Relationships are maintained with institutions and professional associations, and with international, national, state, and local officials as well as voluntary agencies and organizations working in the above areas.

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The Heart Truth Campaign

To make women more aware of the danger of heart disease, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and partner organizations are sponsoring a national campaign called The Heart Truth. The campaign's goal is to give women a personal and urgent wake-up call about their risk of heart disease.

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The Heart Truth Professional Education Campaign

This website was developed as part of The Heart Truth Professional Education Campaign. View the website information and credits.

Content last updated: April 1, 2008.

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