WASHINGTON - National health organizations today applauded the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee for their favorable vote on legislation to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the leading killers of American women -- heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
The American Heart Association, WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, and Society for Women’s Health Research, along with millions of women and supporters across the nation are urging Congress to pass the Heart Disease Education, Analysis and Research and Treatment (HEART) for Women Act.
The HEART for Women Act would raise awareness among women and their health care providers about their risk for heart disease and stroke. The bill would also provide greater oversight of Food and Drug Administration requirements for reporting sex and race-based data about new medicines and devices and authorizes the expansion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s WISEWOMAN screening program for low-income, uninsured women to additional states.
With more than 200 cosponsors in both the U.S. House and Senate, the HEART for Women Act has strong bipartisan support. The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee’s passage of the bill is a critical step forward in the battle to save women’s lives.
“We are very pleased Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee members stood up for women’s heart health by approving this lifesaving legislation,” said Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., American Heart Association President. “Addressing cardiovascular disease prevention, detection, treatment and health equities in women should be a priority, and we urge Congress to pass the bill this year.”
“Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women and the HEART for Women Act will help raise awareness, improve treatment options and educate women on prevention and care,” said Phyllis Greenberger, M.S.W., President and CEO of the Society for Women’s Health Research. ”It is imperative we pass this bill to ensure that the FDA is documenting sex based differences in medications and devices.”
“The lack of adequate representation of women in clinical trials and the failure to consistently report results by sex impedes successful reduction of cardiovascular events in women,” said Lisa M. Tate, Chief Executive Officer, WomenHeart. “WomenHeart is encouraged by the Subcommittee’s action today to improve the care and treatment for women with heart disease through the HEART for Women Act.”
Every minute in this country, someone's mother, sister, wife or friend will die from heart disease, stroke or other cardiovascular diseases. These diseases claim the lives of more than 432,000 American women each year – more than the next four causes of death combined. Nearly half of all African-American women have some form of cardiovascular disease, compared to 35 percent of white women. More than 90 percent of primary care physicians do not know that more women die each year from cardiovascular disease than men, according to an American Heart Association survey.
In addition to the American Heart Association, Society for Women’s Health Research and WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, the HEART for Women Act is also supported by about 45 organizations. The legislation was introduced by Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA) and Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) and Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
American Heart Association
Founded in 1924, we’re the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. To help prevent, treat and defeat these diseases — America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers — we fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health.
Society for Women’s Health Research
The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR), a national non-profit organization based in Washington D.C., is widely recognized as the thought leader in women’s health research, particularly how sex differences impact health. SWHR’s mission is to improve the health of all women through advocacy, education and research.
WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease
WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is the only national organization dedicated to promoting women’s heart health through advocacy, and patient support. As the leading voice for the 42 million American women living with or at risk of heart disease, WomenHeart advocates for equal access to quality care and champions prevention and early detection, accurate diagnosis and proper treatment of women’s heart disease.