WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswomen Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), the co-founders and co-chairs of the Congressional Maternity Care Caucus, today introduced a bipartisan resolution recognizing women’s cardiovascular health as a critical health care priority. Given that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, this resolution promotes increased awareness and education centered on symptoms of heart disease in women. The resolution also calls for gender-specific cardiovascular disease research, prevention, treatment, and policy action to alleviate the risks of heart disease among women.
“One-third of all women in our country die from heart disease or stroke. To tackle a health crisis of this magnitude, it’s vital we draw attention to the importance of medical research, education and policy action to prioritize women’s cardiovascular health,” Herrera Beutler said. “Too often, women’s heart attack symptoms – which are different from men’s – go undetected and often prove fatal. This is a priority for the Maternity Care Caucus because we know there is a link between cardiovascular disease and preeclampsia among expectant mothers, contributing to a tragic number of pregnancy-related deaths every year. I’m pleased to take action today with my co-chair of the Maternity Care Caucus, Congresswoman Roybal-Allard, to prioritize women’s heart health so we can save more girls and moms from heart attacks and stroke.”
“Cardiovascular disease takes the life of someone’s mother, grandmother, daughter, or sister every 80 seconds, and is responsible for more deaths among women than all cancers combined,” Roybal-Allard said. “Fortunately, 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events can be prevented with education and action. That is why I am proud to introduce this resolution with my friend and fellow co-chair of the Maternity Care Caucus, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler. If women stay informed about their risk factors, learn the symptoms of a heart attack, and make healthy lifestyle choices, they can lower their chances of cardiovascular disease.”
“When it comes to cardiovascular disease, women are under-researched and under-treated — and in the United States it’s costing 400,000 women their lives each year. This Resolution is a strong bipartisan statement from Congress that it’s time to take action, and we are grateful to Rep. Herrera Beutler, Rep. Roybal-Allard and other Congressional leaders for their steadfast commitment to helping save women’s lives,” said Dr. Noel Bairey Merz, Women’s Heart Alliance Scientific Advisor, Director of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center in the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Scope of women’s heart disease:
- Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the U.S. One in three women die of heart disease or stroke.
- In the U.S., one woman dies every 80 seconds from heart disease and stroke, accounting for 400,000 deaths a year and costing approximately $1 trillion to the health care system.
- Women are at a greater risk of dying in the year following a heart attack than are men, and in 2019, a woman diagnosed with cardiovascular disease will be more likely to live with a disability, not receive the correct treatment, be readmitted to the hospital or become depressed.
- Heart disease and stroke is the leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S., significantly contributing to the country’s high maternal mortality rate.