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Putting on the Ritz: Doctor wears red dress to help fight against heart disease in women

The red dress was a perfect fit. The blonde hair – flowing. Makeup – flawless. The shoes and pearls – amazingly accessorized. The doctor strolling into The Christ Hospital cafeteria wearing all of this? He was a good sport!

Tom Broderick, MD, an interventional cardiologist with The Ohio Heart and Vascular Center, was the top money draw in the second annual Go Red Penny War at The Christ Hospital. Four cardiologists, including Dr. Broderick, put themselves up for the challenge to help increase awareness of heart disease in women, part of The Christ Hospital’s mission as the Cincinnati Goes Red sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women initiative. Employees could vote with pocket change and dollar bills for who they wanted to see most modeling a red dress – the official symbol of Cincinnati Goes Red.

“Seeing a man in a red dress is certainly not a usual site, but it certainly catches everyone’s attention. I can honestly say that little if anything that I have recently said or done caught the attention of so many people,” Dr. Broderick said. “Although I may have started as the topic of conversation, everyone got the message about the Go Red campaign and the importance of being aware of heart disease in women. I could not have asked for a more enthusiastic response.”

Heart disease knows no strangers and, despite previous beliefs that heart disease primarily affects men, women are equally affected. It is vitally important to raise the awareness that men and women alike can become victims of heart disease so that they can be vigilant for symptoms. It is equally important to act early to prevent the number one cause of death in men and women, heart disease, through diet, exercise and risk factor intervention. 

Risk factors for heart disease

  • Heredity Heart disease may be passed from parent to child.
  • Race African Americans are more likely than any other race to develop heart disease because they are more likely to have high blood pressure.
  • Smoking makes the heart work harder by temporarily increasing blood pressure and your heart rate.
  • High blood pressure causes greater demand on your heart muscle.
  • Obesityputs extra strain on your heart. Extra weight makes your heart work harder, as well as increases your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
  • Lack of exercise is now considered a major risk factor for heart disease. Not only can adding exercise to your daily routine help shed the extra pounds, but it can help lower your risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety and heart disease.

Know the signs: symptoms of a heart attack

  • Chest discomfort may feel like an uncomfortable pressure that may last for more than a few minutes, squeezing, fullness or pain. Also, it may go away and come back.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including your arms, jaw, neck or stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness

How can I prevent heart disease?

Although certain types of heart disease, such as heart defects, cannot be prevented, living a healthy, active lifestyle can help prevent developing future types of heart disease. Follow these tips to prevent heart disease:

  • Stop smoking
  • Stay physically active
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Manage stress
  • Controll your diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

To learn more about heart disease in women, as well as take the Health Aware Risk Assessment, visit

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