Coalition urges gender-specific heart research

Coalition urges gender-specific heart research
Coalition urges gender-specific heart research

WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease has launched an online poll to find out how women are managing heart failure. The poll is part of a national campaign that kicked off Wednesday to raise awareness about women and heart failure, as well as to garner support for gender-specific heart failure research.

“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,” Rachel Ellingson, global communications VP of sponsor St. Jude Medical, said in a statement.

The 15-year-old coalition was founded by three women who had heart attacks in their 40s, and while Americans as a whole seem unclear about symptoms associated with heart disease, the coalition's emphasis on gender-specific research taps into findings that women (as well as minorities) are under-represented in clinical trials a whole. This has been noted as a problem because different genders and ethnicities react to medications differently.

The coalition, which is supported by an array of pharmaceutical companies including Amgen, Novartis, AstraZeneca and Boehringer Ingelheim, said in a statement that the goal is to use the survey responses to craft a national patient education program that will launch in April 2015.