About the WISEWOMAN Program
The WISEWOMAN (Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for WOMen Across the Nation) program is located at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, within the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP). WISEWOMAN consists of 21 CDC-funded WISEWOMAN programs in 20 states (2 programs in Alaska) and tribal organizations. Through these 21 programs, WISEWOMAN provides screening for heart disease and stroke risk factors and lifestyle interventions for many low-income, uninsured, or under-insured women aged 40–64 years.
CDC Program Activity
CDC's state-based National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) offers an established framework that provides the opportunity to target other chronic diseases among women, including heart disease, the leading cause of death among women. Women who are eligible for the NBCCEDP are also eligible for WISEWOMAN. Although more than half of all deaths from heart disease and stroke occur in women, heart disease in women is often diagnosed at an advanced stage. Addressing risk factors such as elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, and smoking greatly reduces a woman's risk of cardiovascular disease-related illness and death.
Why is WISEWOMAN Important?
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. In 2006, 315,930 women died from it.
- Heart disease killed 26% of the women who died in 2006—more than one of every four.
- One of 3 female adults have some form of cardiovascular disease.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women of most racial/ethnic groups in the United States, including African Americans, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Hispanics, and whites. For Asian American women, heart disease is second only to cancer.
- In 2004, 460,000 female lives were lost due to cardiovascular disease.
- Almost two-thirds of the women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Even if you have no symptoms, you may still be at risk for heart disease.
Source: Women and Heart Disease Fact Sheet, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention.
From July 2008 to June 2010 WISEWOMAN has
- Provided almost 78,000 screenings to women for heart disease and stroke risk factors. Eighty-nine percent of WISEWOMAN participants were found to have one or more risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
- Provided health care referrals to all participants who needed them and more than 43,000 women or about 61% of women screened participated in at least one lifestyle intervention session. During this time, the number of women participating in lifestyle interventions increased by 55%.
According to this most recent data, WISEWOMAN participants were found to have the following health risk factors:
- 39% had high blood pressure and an additional 29% had prehypertension.
- 30% had high blood cholesterol and 23% had borderline high cholesterol.
- 16% had diabetes and 14% had prediabetes.
- 27% smoked.
- 45% were obese and 27% were overweight.