Every year a new percentage of women are made aware of this startling fact: heart disease kills more women every year than all forms of cancer combined. It’s a sometimes silent, potentially deadly, but predominantly preventable health issue. And every February the American Heart Association rolls out their awareness campaign to help raise awareness and funds to help women all across America understand the risks and teach them better habits.
And one of their most powerful, heart disease fighting tools? Red dress lapel pins! These 1″ pieces of jewelry account for thousands and thousands of donation dollars every year, and have become the brand logo for the whole campaign. They’re distinctly different from the red awareness ribbon, which has become more synonymous with AIDS and HIV awareness, and despite being, well, a red dress, they’re worn with equal pride by women and men alike.
It says something about the campaign, as well as about the seriousness of the disease, that red dress lapel pins are so universally recognized. And through the efforts of these pins, and the people who wear them, millions of dollars go into research for early detection and to help women who cannot help themselves get the medical attention they need.
Heart disease is not an old person problem. It’s not a male problem. It’s not an unhealthy lifestyle problem. Women in their 30’s who run marathons have suffered from heart disease the same way that someone twice their age does. It’s an equal opportunity disease. Luckily, the American Heart Association, and red dress lapel pins, are also equal opportunity crusaders against it. Happy (almost) February!