Lybba’s filmmaking partner Wondros just completed a film called "The Heart of the Matter" for the Cedars-Sinai ardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women. More specifically, nearly 500,000 women die from it each year (that's more than the total of all cancers combined).
Here's the story of Streisand's dedication to the cause, reblogged from Cedars-Sinai:
When actress, singer, director, and activist Barbra Streisand met cardiologist Bairey Merz, she was shocked to learn that most heart disease studies focused on male patients, while women cardiology patients were widely viewed – and medically treated – as though they were smaller versions of men. Although heart disease kills more women than men every year, Streisand discovered that women were still playing catch-up when it came to cardiac research and treatment.
"Women around the world are dying in alarming numbers from an epidemic of heart disease," Streisand said. "We can no longer afford the misconception that heart disease is mostly a man's problem. Nothing could be further from the truth. The need for more research into women's heart disease is urgent."
"Women need – and deserve – heart care specific to female hearts," Streisand said.
Streisand has a long association with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, supporting a regenerative medicine research fund in 2007, then underwriting The 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.
"Barbra Streisand's leadership allows us to dedicate significant resources to women's heart healthcare education and research," said , director of the and the Mark S. Siegel Family Professor. "With heart disease the number one killer of women, we need this level of significant investment to find innovative solutions."
As a critical component of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, the Cedars-Sinai Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center will be focused on providing leading edge healthcare to women with heart disease and developing research that could lead to new treatments.
Research directed by Merz, who leads a multi-center National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute study on women's heart disease, already has earned Cedars-Sinai a reputation as a world leader in identifying and treating gender differences in heart disease symptoms, causes and outcomes. Some of the key findings that point out the differences between men and women include:
1. Women who have a history of irregular menstrual cycles, estrogen deficiencies and polycystic ovary syndrome may have a higher risk of developing heart disease as they age.
2. Women can have normal angiograms even when they have ischemic heart disease, which affects the small arteries around the heart, and may not be revealed by an angiogram, which is better at detecting developing clots in larger arteries, a condition that predominately affects men.
3. Women are often told their stress tests are normal or that they have "false positives." Bairey Merz says doctors should pay attention to symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath rather than relying on a stress test score.
4. Women who exhibit symptoms of ischemic heart disease can benefit from treatments ranging from proper medication to reduce heart attacks and control symptoms, as well as lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating a low-fat diet and exercising regularly.
"We are just at the beginning of understanding the differences between the sexes when it comes to heart disease," Merz said. "What we need now are large-scale medical studies that identify tailored diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to optimize outcomes for women and men.