Healio: WHAM: Investing in CAD research in women could yield significant economic benefit

The Women’s Health Access Matters organization released a report that adding $20 million in CAD research funding for women generates nearly $2 billion in economic benefit.

The WHAM Report evaluated the economic impact of increasing investment in women’s CV health, specifically CAD research, and identified areas of potential benefit such as quality of life increases and increased productive years.

“Women’s health is an economic issue we cannot afford to ignore. As more than half of the population, responsible for 85% of consumer spending, women drive our economy,” Carolee Lee, founder and CEO of WHAM, said in a press release. “When women are pulled from the workforce because of inadequate treatment options, the economic consequences are vast. The WHAM Report shows the opportunity right now for investing in health research focused on women and the benefits this research brings to men, women and our economy.”

With support from the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement, WHAM commissioned the RAND Corporation to conduct The WHAM Report.

“We know that women experience heart disease differently than men and have different outcomes after cardiac events,” Nancy Brown, CEO of the AHA, said in the release. “The WHAM Report asks how does society benefit when we invest in research focused on women? And the data is stunning, showing that increasing the commitment to women’s heart research will drive better health and better economic results. It’s high time that women are equally represented in cardiovascular research to address the leading cause of death in women.”

According to the release, takeaways from the WHAM report include that by adding $20 million in research funding for CAD in women:

  • About $2 billion in potential economic benefit would be achieved.
  • Women would avoid nearly 40,000 years of heart disease and men would avoid more than 13,000.
  • Labor productivity would increase by nearly 12,000 years and $236 million due to women remaining in the workforce longer.
  • Women would gain nearly 20,000 years of life and men more than 8,000.
  • Women would gain nearly 36,000 quality-adjusted life years living in good health and men would gain nearly 13,000.

“I am thankful for the dedicated work of the RAND research team who produced this report, and to the American Heart Association for bringing these findings to life,” Lee said in the release. “Now, I encourage other leaders to draw from this data and act on this report so that we can make meaningful change.”

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