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Women's Health and Wellness

Women's Health and Wellness

As a wife and mother, Mrs. Bush believes it is important that women make a commitment to a lifestyle that promotes lifelong health, not only for every woman's own benefit but also for the benefit of family and loved ones. Preventive screenings, healthy eating and routine exercise are vital steps all Americans must take to ensure good health. Mrs. Bush believes it is especially important to educate women about the risks of heart disease. She also actively supports the fight against breast cancer and the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Heart Disease

In 2008, Mrs. Bush marked her fifth anniversary as The Heart Truth ambassador.  Mrs. Bush has traveled throughout the United States to talk with women and raise their awareness of the risks of heart disease. 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Although heart disease deaths have been decreasing, nearly 650,000 Americans die of the condition, and more than half of them are women.

Sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The Heart Truth campaign has helped save tens of thousands of women's lives.

  • More women are aware that heart disease is their number one cause of death. In 2007, 57 percent of women recognized heart disease as their number one killer, up from only 34 percent in 2000.
  • Fewer women are dying of heart disease.  Heightened awareness is leading to action.  The last six years saw the first decline in decades in the number of heart disease deaths in women.  The yearly decrease in deaths from heart disease since 2000 amounts to 36,703 lives saved. 

The Heart Truth campaign is empowering American women to fight back against heart disease, which is often preventable.  By leading a heart-healthy lifestyle-eating wisely, getting physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, seeing a physician for routine preventive screenings, and controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes - people can reduce their risk for heart disease by as much as 82 percent.

For more information about The Heart Truth, click here

Breast Cancer

Over the next 25 years, an estimated 25 million people worldwide will be diagnosed with breast cancer.  Mrs. Bush advocates for women to take charge of their own health by having a regular mammogram and doing regular breast self-exams, and to seek the treatment they need in time to save their lives.  As First Lady, Mrs. Bush has helped highlight efforts across the United States and throughout the world dedicated to raising breast cancers awareness and supporting research to find a cure.

In the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas, the United States is working to help end breast cancer. During visits to eight different countries, Mrs. Bush has encouraged women to take charge of their health and emphasized the importance of screenings and early detection.  In Saudi Arabia, the number of women receiving breast cancer screenings at the Abdullatif Cancer Screening Center increased almost fivefold since the partnership began in 2006.

More than one million Americans have HIV — and a quarter of them don't even know it.  It is important for people to be tested so that they know their status, and so that if they are HIV-positive they can protect their loved ones by making healthy decisions to prevent the spread of HIV.

Thanks to dramatic improvements in treatment and care, people are now living with HIV/AIDS — instead of waiting to die from it.  But getting this life-saving treatment, and helping prevent new HIV infections, first requires knowing if you're infected.

Americans should take the simple steps to learn more about HIV/AIDS.  Make voluntary HIV screening a part of your regular health exam.  Ask your doctor at your next visit, "Have I been tested for HIV?"  If not, please request a test.  To find a testing site near you, please visit

Latest News
November 21, 2008
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Announcement of U.S.-Panama Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research
October 7, 2008
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at a Breast Cancer Awareness Month Event
June 26, 2008
Statement by Mrs. Laura Bush on National HIV Testing Day
May 16, 2008
Mrs. Bush's Remarks on the U.S.-Saudi Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research

Press Gaggle by the First Lady
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Photo Essays
Mrs. Laura Bush accepts the Woman's Day Magazine Red Dress Award in New York, NY for her leadership in raising awareness of women's heart disease, February 1, 2007, as Jane Chestnutt, Editor in Chief of Woman's Day, looks on. Women's Health and Wellness

Related Links
Global Health
Mrs. Bush's Radio Address to the Nation
Creating a Heart Health Action Plan
Heart Attack Warning Signs
The Heart Truth Campaign and The Red Dress Project
The Facts: Women and Heart Disease
Ten Questions to Ask Your Doctor
The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
The President's Malaria Initiative

Red Dress Pin