The Indiana State Department of Health has landed a federal grant to help combat cardiovascular disease in women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant could result in up to $2 million over four years. July 8, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indiana State Department of Health announced it has received a four-year health screening-related grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The grant was awarded to the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention and will be used to implement the Well-Integrated Screening for Evaluation for Women across the Nation (WISEWOMAN) Program throughout Indiana.

The WISEWOMAN Program provides low-income, under-insured or uninsured women with standard cardiovascular disease (CVD) screening services including blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. In order to be eligible for the WISEWOMAN Program, women must be enrolled in the existing Indiana Breast and Cervical Cancer Program. Women found to be at risk during the WISEWOMAN screening process are referred to lifestyle programs that target poor nutrition and physical inactivity, such as healthy cooking classes, smoking cessation programs, walking and exercise clubs.

“This grant will allow the Indiana State Department of Health to directly address cardiovascular disease in women,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “Cardiovascular disease is a serious issue and the leading cause of death in our state.”

The Indiana Breast and Cervical Cancer Program targets women from ages 40 to 64 who are at 200 percent of the federal poverty level or below. In Indiana, 14.1 percent of the population had an income below the poverty level the past year, with 7.9 percent of this population being women.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health Vital Records statistics, in 2010, the mortality rate from heart disease, including all forms of CVD, was 190.8 deaths per 100,000 (this does not include stroke, essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease, atherosclerosis and vessel disease). This accounts for 13,374 Indiana residents who died of heart disease, making it the leading cause of death overall.

Heart disease and stroke are the first and fourth causes of death among women in the U.S., and almost twice as many women die of heart disease, stroke and other CVDs as from all forms of cancer combined, including breast cancer. Heart disease may be preventable by incorporating healthy eating, exercise and stress reduction habits into a daily routine; however, the prevalence of the risk factors continues to remain high in Indiana.

Hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, exposure to second-hand smoke, obesity and sedentary life-style contribute to cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases.

According to the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, Indiana's prevalence rates for diabetes (10.2 percent), overweight (34.8 percent), obesity (30.8 percent), smoking (25.6 percent), high blood pressure (32.8 percent) and high cholesterol (38.9 percent) were higher than U.S. rates. Prevalence rates for pre-diabetes (6.6 percent) did not have a comparable value for the entire U.S.

The Indiana State Department of Health has set several agency priorities to improve the health of Indiana residents including, reducing obesity rates and adult smoking rates. The WISEWOMAN Program will address these priorities by screening women for CVD and providing resources to reduce risk factors.

The WISEWOMAN Program will be implemented later this year as a pilot in Northeast Indiana in partnership with United Health Services of St. Joseph County and in Eastern Indiana in partnership with Open Door Health Services. The Indiana State Department of Health aims to screen 1,000 women through the two pilot programs in the first year.

For more information, visit or follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at

Source: Indiana State Department of Health

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