Tackling Health Disparities and Inequities for Women with Heart Failure: New Program Encourages Black and Latina Women to Demand More From Their Care
Boehringer Ingelheimand Lillylaunch Hear Your Heart™, an empowering health initiative to provide resources and education for women with heart failure, especially Black and Latina women, to help optimize their care.
- As of 2019, heart disease, which includes heart failure, was the number one cause of death in the
U.S.Heart failure impacts more than six million people nationwide, approximately half of which are women.
Women's Experiences with Heart Failure Reveal Gaps in Care
Although professional guidelines show no difference in recommendations based on gender, recent data reveals that healthcare professionals are less likely to adhere to guidelines in the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure in women when compared to men, which can lead to undertreatment. Moreover, Black and Latina women with heart failure face additional obstacles in treatment. They are less likely to be admitted to specialized cardiology units, which can lead to worse outcomes. Black women with heart failure have a higher mortality rate compared to white women, and heart disease – which includes heart failure – is the second leading cause of death for Latina women. These realities underscore the need for better education and access to improve care. Working together to understand and address these findings is a critical step forward in the treatment of heart failure for women.
Hear Your Heart is specially designed to tackle these notable disparities in heart failure treatment by encouraging proactive, ongoing conversations and providing actionable steps for women living with heart failure, care partners and healthcare providers to help improve outcomes.
"Heart failure affects more than six million people in the U.S. and has a considerable effect on quality of life. The burden of this disease is compounded for Black and Latina women who face unique challenges and barriers that prevent optimal heart failure care," said
Heart failure care can be complicated and overwhelming, and for women who also take care of their loved ones, their own health is frequently deprioritized. According to the
"Individual support will look different for each person, but implementing lifestyle changes, prioritizing mental health and ensuring associated conditions are managed with diligent self-care and medication adherence are just a few important aspects of heart failure care," explained Dr.
"Proactive and comprehensive heart failure care can lead to better patient outcomes not just for the cardiovascular system, but the renal and metabolic systems as well, given they are interconnected," said
Professional Representation and Education is Critical for Equitable Care
While women living with heart failure can and should be their own advocate, healthcare professionals also have a responsibility to provide equitable, quality care. Research shows that a lack of representation among healthcare professionals can contribute to health disparity and equity issues. Currently, only 37% of physicians are female, and of that 37%, only 2% are Black women. Hispanics make up more than 18% of the population, but just 6% of healthcare professionals. Increased education among current and future healthcare providers dedicated to the unique needs of these women is crucial to addressing the care disparities that currently exist.
Hear Your Heart will grow to include programming and resources for healthcare providers and medical students. Spanish language resources will be available later in 2022.
"Bridging the gap in health disparities for Black and Latina women with heart failure is no easy task, but the
About Hear Your Heart
Hear Your Heart is an initiative that aims to combat health disparities and inequities for women with heart failure, especially Black and Latina women. By providing unique, tailored resources and educational content, Hear Your Heart addresses notable healthcare gaps that may lead to worse health outcomes and helps women optimize their heart failure care. The campaign is a call-to-action for this patient population to prioritize their health and feel confident in asking for the resources they need to feel their best on their heart failure journey. Learn more about Hear Your Heart and access resources at HFHearYourHeart.com.
Hear Your Heart was developed and sponsored by
About Heart Failure
Heart failure is a progressive, debilitating and potentially fatal condition that occurs when the heart cannot supply adequate circulation to meet the body's demands for oxygenated blood. This can lead to fluid accumulation (congestion) in the lungs and peripheral tissues. It is a widespread condition affecting over 60 million people worldwide and expected to increase as the population ages. Heart failure is highly prevalent in people with diabetes; however, more than half of all people with heart failure do not have diabetes.
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