College women’s basketball stakeholders are renewing their effort to fight heart disease through a community-outreach and education-oriented program called “Close the Gap.”
The effort is an awareness campaign about heart disease – the No. 1 killer of women in the United States – which claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined.
“Close the Gap” officials were at the Stanford-Rutgers women’s basketball game November 28, and they’ll be at the Minnesota-Purdue game January 22 and the Oregon-Oregon State matchup January 31 with information that helps increase awareness of cardiovascular risk factors and to help more high-risk patients be identified.
Heart health experts from Boston Scientific and Stanford University Hospital staffed an information booth at the Stanford-Rutgers game, talking with women about how they can lower their overall risk of developing heart disease.
People who visit the “Close the Gap” booth will learn that a woman’s lifetime risk for developing heart disease is very high (more than one in two) and that more than 60 percent of women who died suddenly from coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms.
“More than half of the Americans who die from heart disease each year are women. However, the myth that heart disease primarily affects men persists,” said Jennifer Tremmel, a Stanford-based cardiologist.
Coaches Tara VanDerveer of Stanford and C. Vivian Stringer of Rutgers joined the awareness effort by participating in a public service announcement that aired during the game.
“Close the Gap” has plans to conduct outreach efforts at several college basketball games during 2009.
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association