For Joy Behar comedienne, television host, author and mother heart disease is a family affair. Despite having lost both parents to heart disease, Joy’s mother Rose was not prepared when a sudden heart attack struck in her fifties. Now, Joy and her daughter, Eve, are challenging women who have or are at risk for heart disease to be prepared and better their odds of surviving should a heart attack strike without warning. And they caution women, “don’t stop there;” embrace this second chance at life by living a more heart-healthy lifestyle.
Annually, heart attacks alone claim the lives of more than 250,000 women, which is six times more than will die of breast cancer. More than half of those who died suddenly from a heart attack experienced no previous symptoms, which is why Joy and Eve are partnering with the makers of Bayer® Aspirin and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, to alert women that being prepared can help save their lives. This includes recognizing the sometimes subtle warning signs and keeping aspirin on hand to help reduce damage to the heart. To that end, the Behars, the Bayer Aspirin brand and WomenHeart are offering a special-edition pill tote with a convenient key-ring that makes it easy to always have aspirin on hand. Experts agree that taking as little as one-half (160 – 162.5 mg) of a regular-strength aspirin tablet, can reduce the risk of death by up to 23 percent if administered as directed by a doctor when a heart attack is suspected and continued for 30 days thereafter. The aspirin pill tote also comes with a wallet-sized card describing the symptoms of a heart attack and important emergency response tips, including calling 911 without delay.
“I’ve experienced firsthand the devastating impact that heart disease can have on a family when left unchecked, and I’ve learned that, when a heart attack strikes, your first line of defense is having an aspirin on hand to help reduce damage to the heart,” said Joy. “This is especially important for women, who are less likely than men to survive and are more likely to have a second attack. Being prepared can offer women and their families that second chance to embrace a heart-healthy lifestyle.”
“I value my relationship with my mother, and I also recognize the reality of heart disease in our family. We’ve talked about how shocking it was when her mom had a heart attack at such a young age,” said Eve. “I’m hopeful that family members will consider the pill tote not only as a gift of love and support, but also as a commitment to being prepared.”
“It’s so important for women to know their risk for heart disease, and to talk to their doctor about ways to be better prepared and better their odds of surviving should a heart attack strike without warning,” said Karol Watson, M.D., chair of the WomenHeart Scientific Advisory Council and co-director of the Program in Preventative Cardiology at UCLA.