NHLBI Reports Decline in Heart Disease Deaths in American Women
The number of American women dying from heart disease is decreasing.
Akinso: The number of American women dying from heart disease is decreasing. That's the word from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute with newly analyzed data showing the ratio of American women with heart disease who died as a result of that disease dropping from 1-in-3 to 1-in-4 from 2003 to 2004. That's nearly 17,000 American women who did not die from their heart disease, according to Dr. Rae Ellen Kavey, a Senior Medical Officer of the NHLBI's Pediatric Cardiovascular Risk Reduction and Science Application.
Kavey: We do see progress in terms of women addressing their blood pressure, improving their diets being more active, getting rid of cigarette smoking; those are all major risk factors that are under women's own control.
Akinso: Despite the progress, challenges remain. Heart disease continues to be the leading killer of women, yet many women still do not take heart disease seriously or personally, and millions have one or more of the risk factors which can dramatically increase their risk of developing the condition. Dr. Kavey said the NHLBI continues to try to raise awareness with the Heart Truth's Red Dress campaign.
Kavey: The Red Dress Campaign, where they use the symbol of the red dress as a way to engage women in the subject of women and heart disease. And they've used the idea of fashion as a way to get women to recognize the importance of heart disease as a cause of death. Every year they have a fashion show with major designers, designing red clothes. And then they're worn by celebrities on the runway during fashion week in New York City.
Akinso: Some of the notables who walked the runway in this fashion show were Angela Bassett, Danica Patrick, Phylicia Rashad, Kelly Ripa, and Billie Jean King. The campaign led by First Lady Laura Bush aims to spread the word that heart disease is largely preventable. To learn more about the campaign visit, www.hearttruth.gov. This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Wally Akinso
Sound Bite: Dr. Rae Ellen Kavey
Topic: Heart Disease