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Go Red For Women: 10 Years of Changing Hearts

 

by the Go Red For Women Editors

In our first 10 years, we’ve changed millions of hearts

Ten years ago, the American Heart Association discovered that heart disease killed more women than men. And it took more women’s lives than all forms of cancer combined. So we created Go Red For Women, a network of women dedicated to education, support, and research. Since then, we’ve educated millions of women on the dangers of heart disease, and made major changes in health care. Over these first ten years, we’ve tracked the progress for millions of women involved, and the improvements within the healthcare industry. Here are ten encouraging accomplishments that make all of those involved very proud.

1. Lives are being saved

  • 34% fewer women now die from heart disease.
  • More than 627,000 women’s lives have been saved.

2. Overall heart health has improved

  • Nearly 90% of participants made healthy lifestyle changes.
  • 37% have lost excess weight.
  • More than half now exercise more.
  • 60% now eat healthier diets.
  • 43% have had their cholesterol checked.

3. Awareness of heart disease has increased

  • 23% increase in awareness that heart disease is the #1 killer of women.

4. Unhealthy lifestyle risks have decreased

  • Smoking decreased by 15.1%.
  • Cholesterol levels decreased 18.1%.

5. Diversity challenges have been identified and targeted

  • Heart disease rates vary by ethnicity, with unique challenges for each.
  • Targeted efforts are reaching African American and Hispanic women.

6. Grassroots movement has grown substantially

  • Enrollment has grown from 395,000 to 1,751,512.
  • Women completing Go Red Heart Check-ups has increased from 127,227 to 1,960,704.
  • Annual Go Red luncheons/events has grown from 65 to 1,377.
  • Website hits have grown from 293K to 56.6 M.

7. Advocacy efforts have been successful

  • Congress passed the Heart for Women Act in 2012, requiring the FDA to report clinical trials based on gender.
  • We helped increase funding from the Center for Disease Control to provide screenings for low-income women.
  • We helped pass a law in 2010 to keep women’s health insurance premiums from costing more than men’s.

8. Gender-specific guidelines have been developed for prevention and treatment

  • We’re helping physicians recognize that women’s heart symptoms and treatment are different from men’s.
  • Our “Get With the Guidelines” program has helped hospitals provide improved heart treatment for both genders.

9. We’ve helped medical research become gender-specific

  • Women have been under represented in clinical studies, but the FDA now requires results reported by gender.
  • Increased gender-based research has revealed important differences in women’s symptoms and response to medications.

10. Gender-specific inequalities are identified and targeted

  • We’ve discovered that women aren’t receiving the same level of treatment for heart disease as men. But this is changing!

The fight is not over. Heart disease is still the #1 killer of women. But it doesn’t have to be. We’ve made great progress in our first ten years, and with your help we’ll keep working to change women’s hearts.

Learn how to live healthy and sign up for Go Red For Women’s E-Newsletter on our homepage for heart disease news, research and advice just for you.