Americans experience an average of 935,000 heart attacks and 383,000 people suffer from cardiac arrest -- when the heart stops pumping entirely. Both heart attacks and cardiac arrests carry with them the serious risk of death and disability. In fact, the survival rate for sudden cardiac arrest in this country is less than five percent.
As a cardiologist and physician-scientist, and former President of the American Heart Association and World Heart Federation, I have dedicated my life to promoting cardiovascular health and wellness for youth. Health education and basic lifesaving training are important ways to invest in their future health and well-being, and to make our communities safer.
Despite this large number of women affected by cardiovascular disease, women and minorities are underrepresented in cardiovascular clinical trials. Only one-third of cardiovascular clinical trials report sex-specific results, making it ever more difficult for researchers and clinicians to know how a particular drug or device will affect women.