Press Releases

Senate Women Call On Health Leaders To Prioritize Combating Women’s Disease

In letters to HHS, CDC and NIH leaders, Senators call for greater focus combating heart disease as number one killer of women

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined by a bipartisan group of Senate women including Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) in announcing that they have called on federal health leaders to prioritize combating heart disease, which is the number one killer of women in America.

“Heart disease kills more women than all cancers combined and, since 1984, more women than men have died from heart disease. Yet, for the last 50 years, women’s heart treatment has largely been based on medical research on men – often to negative results,” the Senators wrote. “Every minute, a woman dies from heart disease. We cannot let another year pass with 400,000 more women dying because these disparities are not addressed. While not enough is being done to recognize the differences and appropriately treat heart disease in women, we believe that your leadership could have a huge impact on combating women’s cardiovascular disease.”

In a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Sylvia Burwell, Senators Feinstein, Mikulski, Stabenow, Boxer, Murray, Landrieu, Cantwell, Gillibrand, Baldwin and Hirono call on the agency to examine existing HHS programs in an effort to determine if more resources can be directed toward women’s cardiovascular disease.

The Senate women’s outreach coincides with the launch of Fight the Ladykiller, a campaign to raise awareness, encourage action and drive new research to fight women’s heart disease. The campaign is an effort of the newly formed Women’s Heart Alliance, founded by Barbra Streisand and Ronald O. Perelman and two of America’s leading medical institutions – the Barbara Streisand Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.