March 19, 2009

Senator Gillibrand Takes Action to Combat Heart Disease for Women

Co-Signs HEART for Women Act to Raise Awareness, Provide Targeted Information for Doctors, Expand Access to Screenings

Washington, D.C. - To fight the number-one killer among women in America, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today co-signed the Heart disease Education, Analysis and Research, and Treatment (HEART) for Women Act.  The HEART for Women Act will help raise awareness about the risks, prevention and treatment for heart disease, provide gender and race-specific information for clinicians and researchers, and expand access to heart disease and stroke screenings for low-income women.

"We have a responsibility to do everything we can to fight a disease that claims more lives of women in America than any other cause," Senator Gillibrand said.  "We'll make sure all women know how to get the screenings and the care they need, and we'll arm doctors, clinics and researchers with the resources they need to reach out and treat more women, and save lives."

Heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular diseases kill nearly as many women as the next five causes of death combined.  Progress in fighting heart disease among women has been slow compared to men.  The HEART for Women Act will combat heart disease in the following ways:

Raising Awareness
The HEART for Women Act would authorize grants to educate health professionals about the prevalence and details of care for women for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.  It also authorizes the Medicare program to conduct an educational awareness campaign for older women about their risk for heart disease and stroke.

Providing Targeted Information
Health care data already being reported to the federal government would be required to be targeted by gender, race and ethnicity to improve prevention and treatment efforts.

Increasing Access to Screenings
The HEART for Women Act would expand a screening service from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for low-income, uninsured and underinsured women from 20 states to all 50 states.