Celebrating Heart Truth

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 8, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: While we were in Texas, we talked to Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.


VAN SUSTEREN: Dr. thank you for joining us.


VAN SUSTEREN: This is a big day for the focus of women and their hearts.

NABEL: It is. We are here to celebrate the "Heart Truth" campaign, which is a program that began at the National Heath, Lung, and Blood Institute in 2002.

Mrs. Bush joined us as our national ambassador, and was certainly a wonderful advocate for many of the women's health issues, but certainly for women and heart disease.

VAN SUSTEREN: How do these women's health issues differ from the men? I mean, is it sort of politically, or in terms of money focused on it, or awareness or prevention of problems? What's the difference?

NABEL: Well, it's interesting, Greta. For many years, most of our statistics about heart disease in this country were based on men. For many years, we only enrolled men in clinical trials for heart disease.

That may sound silly, but in retrospect, it was the case in the '70's, '80's, and '90's. And it wasn't until the latter part of the 1990's that we had requirements at the national institutes of health to have equal numbers of men and women enrolled in clinical trials and heart disease, specifically.

So now we have gathered about a decade or so of health statistics on women and heart disease. And to many people's surprise, women -- more women die of heart disease in this country than any other disease. For about --

VAN SUSTEREN: More than men though?

NABEL: More than men.


NABEL: It's a silent killer. Women don't recognize it. They do not understand the symptoms. They do not seek treatment early enough. Many women, unfortunately, live to be older age and eventually succumb to heart disease and stroke. But, surprisingly, there are many younger women that have manifestations of heart disease and just do not recognize it.


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