The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) has teamed with HealthyWomen, the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, and the Coalition of Labor Union Women in partnership with CardioDx on a new patient advocacy campaign, Spread the Word, to empower women to be proactive in discussing their heart health and testing options with their healthcare providers.
Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the U.S., more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. Coronary artery disease (CAD)*, the most common form of heart disease, is caused by the buildup of fatty deposits (also known as plaque) in the arteries that supply the heart with blood and oxygen. Over time, this plaque buildup causes a narrowing or blockage in the heart arteries, which is called obstructive CAD, and decreases the amount of blood reaching the heart muscle. Ultimately, decreased blood flow and oxygen to the heart can lead to a severe cardiac condition such as a heart attack, heart failure, arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm), or even death.
The Spread the Word campaign educates women and those who love them about CAD signs and symptoms, helps women understand questions they should be asking their healthcare providers, and empowers women to ask about which testing options may be safer and more convenient. The website offers numerous educational and patient resources around CAD identification and prevention.
“We are pleased to be a part of this campaign,” said SWHR President and CEO Phyllis Greenberger. “Cardiovascular disease has been one of our main focuses due to its tremendous impact on women. Educating women about heart disease is imperative while we continue to fund research through our Interdisciplinary Network on Cardiovascular Disease on sex and gender differences, enabling cardiologists to properly treat women. We applaud the Spread the Word campaign for empowering women to take control of their heart health.”
About Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a very common heart condition in the United States. One in six deaths among Americans is caused by CAD.2 CAD can cause a narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries (vessels to the heart that supply the heart with blood, oxygen, and nutrients), reducing blood flow to the heart muscle. This narrowing or blockage in the coronary arteries is often referred to as obstructive* CAD, characterized by the presence of atherosclerosis, or plaque.
* Obstructive CAD is defined as at least one atherosclerotic plaque causing ≥50% luminal diameter stenosis in a major coronary artery (≥1.5 mm lumen diameter) as determined by invasive quantitative coronary angiography (QCA) or core-lab computed tomography angiography (CTA) (≥2.0 mm).
1 American Heart Association. Facts about Cardiovascular Disease in Women. Available at www.goredforwomen.org/home/about-heart-disease-in-women/facts-about-heart-disease/. Last accessed on December 18, 2014.
2 Go AS, Mozaffarian D, Roger VL et al. American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics – 2014 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2014;129(3):e28-e292.
CardioDx, Inc., is a molecular diagnostics company specializing in cardiovascular genomics that is committed to developing clinically validated tests that empower clinicians to better tailor care to each individual patient. Strategically focused on coronary artery disease, CardioDx is committed to expanding patient access and improving healthcare quality and efficiency through the commercialization of genomic technologies.
The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®), is a national non-profit based in Washington D.C. that is widely recognized as the thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease and is dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education. Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, medical researchers and health advocates, SWHR aims to bring attention to the variety of diseases and conditions that disproportionately or predominately affect women.