Women and Heart Disease

Updated:Feb 12,2014

Every minute in the United States, someone's wife, mother, daughter or sister dies from heart disease, stroke or another form of cardiovascular disease (CVD). More than one in three women is living with CVD, including nearly half of all African-American women and 34 percent of white women. Although heart disease death rates among men have declined steadily over the last 25 years, rates among women have fallen at a slower rate.

Our federal priorities to address inequities for women with heart disease are:

  • Apply a key provision of the HEART for Women Act that requires the FDA to report on how new prescription drugs and medical devices work in women and minorities.
  • Maintain funding for WISEWOMAN, a CDC prevention program that provides cardiovascular screening and lifestyle intervention services to low-income uninsured and underinsured women.
  • Protect funding for National Institutes of Health research to better understand how heart disease and other forms of CVD affect women differently.
  • Increase the percentage of women who participate in clinical research.
  • Preserve Medicare and Medicaid, both of which disproportionately serve women.
  • Strengthen the percentage of women with access to affordable health insurance coverage, through support of the Affordable Care Act provision that bans the discriminatory practice of charging women higher insurance premiums than men.
  • Increase access to cardiac rehabilitation.
  • Report health care quality measures by gender, race, ethnicity, primary language and disability status.
  • Support the Health Equity and Accountability Act, which helps eliminate health inequities among minorities, women and other groups.

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