Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services and Gary Gibbons, M.D., director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute headlined a “State of Women’s Heart Health” webinar Wednesday, discussing cardiovascular diseases, the nation’s No. 1 killer of women.

The webinar was held by the American Heart Association and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease to raise awareness of heart disease in women, including how women can prevent it. The organizations’ CEOs Nancy Brown and Lisa Tate co-hosted.

Brown acknowledged the presenters for their contributions.

“Your support is key to helping us raise the awareness needed to educate women about their risks for heart disease and to support the scientific research to wipe out heart disease altogether,” Brown said.

Presentations included:

  • How the Affordable Care Act is expanding coverage to women and providing other benefits: Kathleen Sebelius.
  • How National Institutes of Health-funded research will allow us to better understand cardiovascular disease in women: Gary Gibbons.
  • Using the American College of Cardiology/AHA cholesterol guidelines in women: Noel Bairey Merz M.D., cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles who served on the committee that created the guidelines.
  • How ACC/AHA’s new obesity, lifestyle and risk assessment guidelines can help prevent heart disease in women: Nancy Brown.
  • A personal story about how the Affordable Care Act helped a heart attack and stroke survivor from Alexandria, Va., get health insurance coverage and peace of mind: Aqualyn Laury, AHA volunteer.

Brown gave participants an acronym to help remember how to GO RED for women’s heart health:

  • G:  GET YOUR NUMBERS. Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • O:  OWN YOUR LIFESTYLE. Stop smoking, maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and eat healthy.
  • R:  REALIZE YOUR RISK. We think it won’t happen to us, but heart disease kills 1 in 3 women.
  • E:  EDUCATE YOUR FAMILY. Choose healthy foods and teach your kids to stay active.
  • D:  DON’T BE SILENT. Tell your friends that heart disease is our No. 1 killer.

For more information:

  • Sign up to hear the recording of the State of Women’s Heart Health webinar.