The Women’s Heart Alliance co-founder spoke today at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit
LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA (October 18, 2016) – Barbra Streisand, co-founder of the Women’s Heart Alliance (WHA), addressed Fortune’s 18th annual Most Powerful Women Summit today and called on female executives to come together to encourage women to get educated, get screened, and get talking to their loved ones about heart disease and stroke, women’s number one killer.[i]
“I can’t stand any kind of gender discrimination. When it comes to heart disease, women aren’t getting the same chance in life, literally,” Streisand said. “Too many women – our mothers, sisters, daughters, friends and co-workers – are dying before their time from a largely preventable disease. We have to start encouraging women to make their own health a priority by talking to their doctors, learning about their risk factors and getting screened annually.”
During her one-on-one conversation with Pattie Sellers, executive director of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, Streisand underscored the importance of eating a nutritious, balanced diet, getting active every day and getting adequate sleep.[ii] She added that women should get screened for heart disease annually and be aware of their unique heart attack symptoms, which can include nausea, weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath and back, shoulder or jaw pain—not necessarily the “classic” sign of crushing pain in the chest.
The facts are alarming: heart disease kills one in three women[iii] (that’s one woman nearly every 80 seconds[iv]), more than all cancers combined.[v] Women are 50 percent more likely to be given a wrong diagnosis after a heart attack[vi] and are at greater risk of dying in the year following a heart attack than are men.[vii] Additionally, cardiovascular disease costs the United States $320 billion in annual health care costs and lost productivity.[viii]
Ms. Streisand also called for policy change at the national level to ensure women and minorities are adequately represented and analyzed in scientific research to improve health outcomes for these populations.
Streisand and WHA co-founder Ronald O. Perelman, chairman and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated, launched WHA in Fall 2014 to prevent women from needlessly facing and dying from heart disease and stroke. It is the only heart-related organization that looks at the impact of heart disease and stroke on women exclusively.
To learn more about getting heart checked, visit www.womensheartalliance.org.
About the Women’s Heart Alliance
The Women’s Heart Alliance (WHA) was formed to raise awareness, encourage action and drive new research to fight women’s heart disease. It’s a unique collaboration between two of America’s leading medical institutions—the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center—and two major philanthropists and leaders in business and entertainment, Barbra Streisand and Ronald O. Perelman. Learn more at www.womensheartalliance.org, and on Facebook www.facebook.com/womensheartalliance, Twitter @WHA and Instagram @womensheartalliance.
[i] Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Xu J, and Tejada-Vera B, “Deaths: Final Data for 2014,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Hyattsville, MD: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics. 2016;65(4). Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr65/nvsr65_04.pdf.
[ii] Go Red for Women 2015 Fact Sheet: http://www.localheart.org/idc/groups/branding-public/@wcm/@cmc/documents/downloadable/ucm_468266.pdf; Åkesson A, Larsson SC, Discacciati A, Wolk A. Low-Risk Diet and Lifestyle Habits in the Primary Prevention of Myocardial Infarction in Men: A Population-Based Prospective Cohort Study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64(13):1299-1306. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2014.06.1190. Available from: http://content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx?articleid=1909605
[iii] Mozaffarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, Arnett DK, Blaha MJ, Cushman M, et al.; on behalf of the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—
2016 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2016;133:e148.
[iv] Mozaffarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, Arnett DK, Blaha MJ, Cushman M, etal.; on behalf of the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics 2016 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2016; 133: e148. Availablefrom:http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2015/12/16/CIR.0000000000000350.full.pdf
[v] Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Xu J, and Tejada-Vera B, “Deaths: Final Data for 2014,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Hyattsville, MD: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics. 2016;65(4). Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr65/nvsr65_04.pdf.
[vi] Wu J, Gale CP, Hall M, Dondo TB, Metcalfe E, Oliver G, Batin PD, Hemingway H, Timmis A, West RM. Impact of initial hospital diagnosis on mortality for acute myocardial infarction: A national cohort study. Eur Heart J Acute Cardiovasc Care. 2016; inpress. Available from: http://acc.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/08/29/2048872616661693.
[vii] CDC Feature: Women and Heart Disease [Internet]. Atlanta: CDC; c2015. [Updated: 2 February 2015; cited: 31 August 2015]. Available from http://www.cdc.gov/features/wearred/index.html.