STAGE TUBE: Barbra Streisand Stands Up to Women's Heart Disease
Just yesterday it was announced that the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center in Cedars-Sinai's Heart Institute will be named for the famed entertainer in recognition of her philanthropic commitment and it will be directed by C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, a cardiologist and nationally respected expert on women's cardiovascular disease.
The video below showcases why Streisand has taken on the cause of heart disease in women. Check it out below!
Streisand has a long association with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, supporting a regenerative medicine research fund in 2007, then underwriting The Barbra Streisand Women's Cardiovascular Research and Education Program in 2008. In 2011, she received the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Humanitarian Award for her efforts on behalf of women's heart health and her many other philanthropic activities.
Streisand focused on women's heart disease when she learned the stunning facts about this condition. More than 500,000 women die each year in the United States from cardiovascular disease, more than all cancers combined. At least 40 percent of women do not survive their first heart attack. Since 1984, more women have died annually from cardiovascular disease than men. Despite growing evidence that women's heart disease symptoms differ from men's, women have been diagnosed for decades based on research conducted largely with male subjects.
The Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center is working to correct that gender inequality through research into female-pattern ischemic heart disease, the development of new diagnostic tools and specialized care for women.
Center physicians and researchers also are improving the understanding of microvascular coronary dysfunction, a condition that affects mostly women and goes undetected in standard heart disease tests; the heart's small vessels in this dysfunction lose their ability to dilate and allow blood flow. Researchers also have identified gender-specific genes that increase or reduce heart disease risk in women and are exploring the power of female stem cells in regenerating healthy heart muscle after a heart attack.
Streisand's latest commitment will support an expansion of these efforts, along with ambitious programs in prevention and education. These efforts will also benefit men, which is important since heart disease is also the number one killer of men.
Since its inception in 1986, the Streisand Foundation has made grants to national organizations working on women's health, preservation of the environment, voter education, protection of civil liberties and civil rights and nuclear disarmament.