Stabenow Co-Leads Group of 11 Women Senators Urging the Administration to Make Combating Heart Disease a Priority

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, along with 11 other women Senators, urged the Administration to prioritize combating heart disease, which is the number one killer of women in Michigan. In a series of letters to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, NIH Director Francis Collins, and CDC Director Tom Frieden, the bipartisan group of women Senators explained that women's heart disease continues to be under-researched, frequently misdiagnosed, and often left untreated. This is in part because heart distress is more difficult to diagnose in women than men.

"Unfortunately, a majority of women and even some doctors are unfamiliar with the symptoms, diagnoses, and dangers of heart disease in women," said Stabenow. "When we help educate women and their doctors, create more opportunities for women to get screenings, and get more money for research, we can fight this disease and save lives."

Sen. Stabenow has long advocated for better research, funding, and education around women's heart disease. In 2012, Sen. Stabenow helped pass a provision based on her bipartisan bill, the HEART (Heart Disease Education, Research and Analysis, and Treatment) for Women Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in 2012. Earlier this year, Sen. Stabenow led a group of 14 women Senators asking the Food and Drug Administration to take concrete actions to increase the number of women and minorities in clinical trials, which will help make treatments more effective and save lives.

One out of three women die of heart disease, and Michigan is the 8th worst state in the country for deaths from this preventable and treatable disease.