Carey Roberts
January 29, 2008
American Heart Association plays a cruel trick on women
By Carey Roberts

Ladies, when was the last time you visited a nursing home? Did you wonder why nearly all the residents were women? The reason is simple — men meet their maker 5 years sooner than the fairer sex.

It wasn't always that way. Back in 1920, men and women had almost identical life spans. But the looming threat of heart disease widened that gap. American men now have heart disease death rates that are 50% higher than women's. (The federal report Health, United States, 2007, Table 29 reveals the death rates are 268 in men, compared to only 177 in women).

Most persons have never heard of Lois Verbrugge, a researcher at the University of Michigan. A few years ago Dr. Verbrugge did a study on elderly women. She found that compared to their married counterparts, single elderly women are four times more likely to end up in a nursing home.

Which means after your husband dies of heart disease, you are four times more likely to be removed from your home and taken to an institutional setting to spend your last days in medicated bliss. That's what happened to several ladies I've known.

And what about men who keel over from heart disease in their 40s and 50s? What happens to their wives and children?

Last year my friend Bill died from a debilitating heart problem. His wife never wanted to be the family breadwinner. That's what she's doing now.

And Randy died suddenly while jogging one morning. His two sons, now in their 20s, will never again experience a father's love.

So men are at far greater risk of heart disease, and their premature deaths portend institutionalization and financial hardship for their wives.

You'd think the American Heart Association would have programs designed especially to help men. They don't.

But not to worry, the AHA does have a gender-specific program — "Go Red for Women."

That's right, the Heart Association has designated this Friday, February 1 as National Wear Red Day. Here's the latest fashion tip from the AHA:

"National Wear Red Day has its own dress code. Wear your favorite red clothes or accessory — a red blouse, a red dress pin, a fabulous red handbag."

That's not all: "Put on red lipstick, or sport a red tie and red socks. Go red in your own fashion show to show your support for women and the fight against heart disease." []

Really folks, I'm not making this up!

So when you pay a visit to grandma at the nursing home this weekend, she's gonna feel a whole lot better if you're sporting red socks and red shoes. And that widow who lives down the street — be sure to remind her to pull out that fabulous red handbag she stowed away after the funeral.

To complete the irony of Go Red for Women, show her a tribute card, courtesy of the AHA: "Go Red for Women — American Heart Association — A donation has been made in honor of [fill in name of former husband, father, brother, or son]."

Seriously, when it comes to the real needs of real women, it's obvious the pointy-headed execs at the AHA don't have a clue. So it's up to women bring the Heart Association to its senses.

Call Mr. Cass Wheeler, head of the American Heart Association. His number is 1-800-242-8721. Send a message to the PR department: []. Or just call your local heart association office.

We all want to know how the American Heart Association answers these two questions:

1. Why does the Heart Association want to deprive aging women of the main source of their financial support?

2. Why does the AHA want to send more elderly women to nursing homes?

And while we're at it, why don't we ask if they believe men's hearts count for less?

© Carey Roberts


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Carey Roberts

Carey Roberts is an analyst and commentator on political correctness. His best-known work was an exposé on Marxism and radical feminism... (more)

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