Dozens don red on Monument Circle in support of women’s heart health

Red Dress Dash on Monument Circle in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Dozens of people donning shades of red took to the streets of downtown Indianapolis on Tuesday afternoon to raise awareness about women’s heart health. 

The eighth annual Red Dress Dash happened at Monument Circle. Participants looped the course and sported everything from feather boas to tutus, beaded necklaces to tinseled wigs. And, of course, red dresses. 

The public spectacle is a product of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement. The campaign is designed to draw national attention to heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, which is the No. 1 cause of death among women in the United States. 

“One in 3 women will be affected by heart disease in their lifetime and that’s a statistic we just can’t let stand,” said Doshia Stewart, a member of the heart association’s Indianapolis-based executive leadership team. “These days we’re particularly concerned with younger women because that number is starting to rise.”

A 2018 study by the American Heart Association assessed 28,000 people hospitalized for heart attacks between 1995 and 2014. Of the 28,000, 30% were women ages 35 to 54.

According to Indiana’s Community Health Network, 23 women in the Hoosier state die of heart disease every day. 

“We need women to be advocates for their own health,” Stewart said. “Knowing your own numbers is key.”

Numbers such as cholesterol, blood pressure and C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a blood marker of inflammation in the heart. High CRP levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attacks.

To learn more about heart health, click here.