Press Release

The Ohio State University and the Women’s Heart Alliance Team Up to Fight Women’s Number One Killer, Heart Disease

Columbus, Ohio – Today, The Ohio State University and the Women’s Heart Alliance (WHA) launched a new partnership to address women’s heart disease, the number one killer of women, by screening and educating college-aged women about the risks of heart disease and key steps for preventing the disease.

Ohio State will support WHA’s efforts to collect and analyze survey data to learn more about young women and heart disease. Known as a “silent killer,” cardiovascular disease (CVD) rates and the prevalence of CVD risk factors are increasing the fastest among young women, especially African American and Latina women. And death rates from heart disease have been virtually stagnant in young women over the last two decades.

Partnership activities this fall will include:

• Million Hearts® #getHeartChecked screening for college-aged women and men to help educate them about the risks facing their mothers, sisters, wives and girlfriends;

• Panel discussion on women’s heart health with Ohio State and WHA leaders; • Buckeye football game dedicated to heart health in Ohio Stadium on October 29th ;

• Campus-wide, group physical activity to call attention to the importance of a maintaining a healthy heart; and a

• HackOHI/O 2016 codeathon to give students an opportunity to develop a mobile health app designed to provide women with information and tools to manage their personal risk for heart disease.

“For too long, we’ve been conditioned to see heart disease as an old man’s problem. But a woman dies nearly every 80 seconds from heart disease and women who have heart attacks are more likely than men to die within a year. We need to come together to fight for gender equity in women’s heart health and to make preventing heart disease a young woman’s priority,” said Barbra Streisand, co-founder of the Women’s Heart Alliance.

“In the United States, heart disease kills more women each year than all cancers combined,” said Ronald O. Perelman, co-founder of WHA and Chairman and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated. “Yet, 45 percent of women are unaware that it’s their number one threat. We need awareness, education and advocacy to tackle this epidemic. We cannot leave women’s health to chance.”

“Ohio State is pleased to partner with the Women’s Heart Alliance in the fight against cardiovascular disease,” said Ohio State President Michael V. Drake. “From our bench-to-bedside expertise in cardiac research and care to our participation in the Million Hearts® Initiative, we are committed to educating more individuals — including college-aged students— about the risks and symptoms of heart disease.”

Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (Ohio-03) declared her support for the partnership because of her own personal experience with heart disease. Beatty said, “I want to help educate young women in my district, across Ohio and beyond about the risk factors of cardiovascular disease, so they develop hearthealthy behaviors long before the symptoms of heart disease ever develop. Beatty continued, “It is imperative to start early; no one is immune from heart attack or stroke, I know firsthand—I suffered a stroke when I was just 50 years old. I am proud to support The Ohio State University, the flagship university of Ohio, in this effort to spread the word to all women.”

“Heart disease is deadly, but it’s also largely preventable,” said British Robinson, CEO of the Women’s Heart Alliance. “Through screening and educating women earlier in life about risk factors for heart disease, we can help reduce heart disease in women, or prevent it altogether.”

WHA and Ohio State are both members of the Million Hearts® initiative, a joint effort of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Million Hearts® initiative invited Ohio State to be its first university partner to help achieve the goal of preventing one million strokes and heart attacks by 2017.


About the Women’s Heart Alliance

The Women’s Heart Alliance (WHA) was formed to raise awareness, encourage action and drive new research to fight women’s heart disease. It’s a unique collaboration between two of America’s leading medical institutions—the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center—and two major philanthropists and leaders in business and entertainment, Barbra Streisand and Ronald O. Perelman. Learn more at, and on Facebook, Twitter @FightLadyKiller and Instagram @fighttheladykiller.

About The Ohio State University

Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 65,000 students (including 59,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 15 colleges, 80 centers and nearly 200 majors and specialties, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.