chapter  9
30 Pages

Cardiovascular Disease

Since the turn of the century, interest in cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), among women in particular, has increased dramatically in the United States. In 2002, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) both began campaigns to draw much needed attention to CVD risk factors in women. The AHA titled its campaign ‘‘Go Red for Women,’’ issuing a ‘‘national call for women to take charge of their heart health and live stronger, longer lives;’’ and the NHLBI titled its campaign ‘‘The Heart Truth: A National Awareness Campaign on Women and

Heart Disease.’’ Both programs stress nonpharmacological interventions as a means to reduce women’s CVD risk, primarily emphasizing dietary modification, physical activity, and smoking cessation. Concomitant with these efforts has been evidencebased guideline development, specifically for CVD prevention and treatment in women [1]. These guidelines are particularly important in light of the recent findings indicating that hormone replacement therapy does not appear to be effective at preventing CVD in women [2,3].