WASHINGTON, Nov. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease announces the launch of the first national patient education campaign to raise awareness about women and heart failure. Heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalizations in women over the age of 65¹, and women account for 50 percent of all heart failure-related hospital admissions²; yet, only 25 percent of women are involved in heart failure studies³. The new campaign, which is supported by grants from St. Jude Medical Foundation and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, and sponsored by Amgen, aims to raise public awareness about women and heart failure, educate and support women with or at risk for heart failure, and develop recommendations for gender-specific heart failure research.
WomenHeart launches the campaign today with a national patient survey designed to gain a better understanding of how women are managing their heart failure. The survey will identify gaps in knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, barriers to treatment, medication adherence, hospital readmissions and patient support. Women living with heart failure are encouraged to take the online survey today. Deadline to complete the survey is November 23.
Findings from the survey will inform a national patient education program that will be launched in April 2015. Additionally, WomenHeart will develop and nationally distribute educational materials for women with heart failure through the national WomenHeart Support Network program and online at www.womenheart.org.
"We want to reach both women heart failure patients and women who would not otherwise be aware of their risk for heart failure so they can take the necessary preventive steps as well as help women living with heart failure improve their quality of life," said Mary McGowan, Interim Chief Executive Officer, WomenHeart. "We also hope that the new campaign will spur gender-specific research to reduce the disproportionate burden of heart failure among women," she added.
Current research shows that women with heart failure tend to experience a greater burden of symptoms, such as depression, and a reduced quality of life compared to men. Moreover, heart failure places women at greater risk for heart attack, which in turn complicates their heart failure condition.
"As the prevalence of heart failure grows, it is important that we learn more about how women are living with this disease so we can bridge the treatment gap with innovative solutions that best address their challenges," said Rachel Ellingson, Vice President of Global Communications at St. Jude Medical and President of the St. Jude Medical Foundation. "By aligning our philanthropy with our mission, we can drive meaningful change in the treatment of heart failure."
Women living with heart failure are encouraged to help inform this important patient education campaign by participating in the national online survey. Women are also encouraged to share this link with other women they know who are living with heart failure. Deadline to complete the survey is November 23.
The WomenHeart national heart failure campaign is supported by grants from St. Jude Medical Foundation and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, and sponsored by Amgen.
WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is the nation's only patient centered organization serving the 42 million American women living with or at risk for heart disease – the leading cause of death in women. WomenHeart is solely devoted to advancing women's heart health through advocacy, community education, and the nation's only patient support network for women living with heart disease. WomenHeart is both a coalition and a community of thousands of members nationwide, including women heart patients and their families, physicians, and health advocates, all committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives. To receive a free on line heart health action kit or to donate, visit www.womenheart.org.
¹ Harvard Women's Health Watch newsletter, Harvard Health Publications, Harvard medical School, September 2008. Available online at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Womens_Health_Watch/2008/September/Heart_failure_in_women
² Cleveland Clinic Heart Failure in Women web page. Updated 2014. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/heart/disorders/heart-failure-what-is/heart-failure-women
³ Harvard Women's Health Watch newsletter, Harvard Health Publications, Harvard medical School, September 2008. Available online at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Womens_Health_Watch/2008/September/Heart_failure_in_women
SOURCE WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease