It’s time for change. It’s time for equity.
1 death every 80 seconds. 1,080 deaths a day. 400,000 deaths a year.
A world in which every woman can achieve heart health.
At the Women’s Heart Alliance, our mission is to prevent women from needlessly facing and dying from heart disease and stroke. That’s why we’re focused on an area long neglected in research, prevention, and care: The differences between men and women.
Many people are still surprised to learn that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States (US). In fact, heart disease kills more women in the US each year than all cancers combined. And women are at greater risk of dying in the year following a heart attack than are men: 1 in 4 women will die within one year of their heart attack, compared to 1 in 5 men.
When it comes to heart disease and stroke, women and men are not the same. Women’s hearts are smaller. Their risk factors can be different. Their symptoms can be different. Their response to therapies can be different.
Yet, most of the research on heart disease and stroke is conducted on men. Most of our diagnostic tools were validated on men. Most treatments were tested on men. And often, health professionals are unaware of these disparities — and many patients are, too.
We at the WHA draw attention to these sex differences and promote activities that raise awareness and drive change. We are 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 New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Through our focused, strategic efforts and our innovative awareness campaigns, we aim to dramatically reduce the number of women suffering and dying from heart disease and stroke.
Stop women’s cardiovascular disease — the No. 1 killer of women in the United States today — by promoting gender equity in research, prevention, awareness and treatment.
We want to change research practices, so that women are equally represented in the lab and the clinic as research subjects and as investigators.
We want to improve the sex-specific quality of care women receive for their heart health — so that every woman can access the support she needs, and every health care provider knows how to provide it.
We want to empower women to take their heart health into their own hands — especially younger women and minorities — through access to screening, detection, treatment and prevention measures. Eighty percent of heart disease and strokes can be prevented by preventive therapy such as treatment of high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. Quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet and physical activity also help. For those women who do suffer a heart attack or stroke, we want to increase their odds of survival.
We want meaningful policy change to make all of these goals possible.
With so many women’s lives at stake, we have to make this a priority — for the mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, and friends we love. It will make for a better, healthier future for us all.