Heart disease is the number one killer of women and African American women suffer disproportionately higher death rates from heart disease and stroke. Diabetes and obesity are occurring at younger ages in minority women. Gender and ethnic disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes are most marked for African American women who have a 69% higher death rate compared to white women.
In 1997, a committee of the Association of Black Cardiologists was was formed to focus on this especially high risk population. In 1999, the ABC Committee on CVD in Women, along with the then president-elect Dr. Elizabeth Ofili and CEO Dr. B. Waine Kong, launched the initiative to open a center dedicated to cardiovascular disease in women of color. An initial seed grant was awarded that enabled the ABC to select a director and manager to lead the Center and to initiate programmatic objectives.
The ABC Center for Women's Health (CWH) is dedicated to improving the cardiovascular health of African American and other women of color.
The Center for Women's Health strives to be a major force in improving the cardiovascular health of African American and other women of color through professional and community education, research and health policy advocacy.