SWHR Policy Agenda: Improving Women’s Heart Health Outcomes Across the Lifespan


Published 2/23/24

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States, resulting in one in every five deaths. In 2021, about 695,000 people died of heart disease. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated what was already considered a public health crisis of heart health. According to a study from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, by the second year of the pandemic, heart attack deaths increased by almost 30% for adults ages 25-44, almost 20% for adults ages 45-64, and by almost 14% for adults ages 65 and older.

Despite decades of progress, the heart health landscape in the United States is fraught with persistent challenges, spanning challenges with public and provider education, to research gaps, to barriers to accessing care.

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) created the SWHR Policy Agenda: Improving Women’s Heart Health Outcomes Across the Lifespan to discuss policy needs and opportunities in women’s heart health. Insights for the policy agenda were informed by SWHR’s Heart Health Policy Working Group convening in September 2023.

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We’re Talking Heart Health! Read My Lips

In 2023, SWHR began the the Read My Lip(id)s campaign to raise awareness about the risk factors for heart disease and how getting regular cholesterol screening—specifically, lipid panel testing—can empower women to understand their risk and take charge of their heart health.

Learn More

read my lips

This material was created by the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) and is intended to serve as a public educational and informative resource. This material may be cited or shared on external channels, websites, and blogs, with attribution given to SWHR, or printed and displayed in its original formatted version. SWHR encourages the sharing and reposting of its content in order to spread awareness around women’s health issues. For specific questions about sharing SWHR content, please reach out to communications@swhr.org