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.
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.
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.
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.
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 www.hivtest.org.