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Contact Info

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention

4770 Buford Hwy, NE
MS K–77
Atlanta, GA 30341–3717

TTY: 1–888–232–6348
Fax: 770–488–8151

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Wisewoman logo, tagline reads "Well-integrated Screening and Evaluation for Women Across the Nation"

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A world where any woman can access preventive health services and gain the wisdom to improve her health.


To provide low-income, under- or uninsured 40- to 64-year-old women with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities to improve diet, physical activity, and other lifestyle behaviors to prevent, delay and control cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.

Why is WISEWOMAN Important?

  • 80,700,000 American adults have one or more types of cardiovascular disease.
  • Cardiovascular disease includes stroke, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, birth heart defects, hardening of the blood vessels, and other diseases of the circulatory system.
  • One in 3 female adults have some form of cardiovascular disease.
  • In 2004, cardiovascular disease caused about a death a minute among females.
  • In 2004, 460,000 female lives were lost due to cardiovascular disease.
  • More female lives were lost due to cardiovascular disease than by cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s disease, accidents, and diabetes combined.
  • 49% of Black/African-American women have cardiovascular disease.
  • 35% of non-Hispanic white women have cardiovascular disease.
  • 34.4% of Mexican-American women have cardiovascular disease.

Source: Heart Disease & Stroke Statistics – 2008 Update, American Heart Association

How Does WISEWOMAN Work?

The WISEWOMAN program is administered through CDC's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP). The WISEWOMAN program provides low–income, under insured or uninsured women aged 40–64 years with chronic disease risk factor screening, lifestyle intervention, and referral services in an effort to prevent cardiovascular disease.

CDC funds 21 WISEWOMAN programs, which operate on the local level in states and tribal organizations. WISEWOMAN programs provide standard preventive services including blood pressure and cholesterol testing.  WISEWOMAN programs also offer testing for diabetes. Women are not just tested and referred, but can also take advantage of lifestyle programs that target poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and smoking, such as healthy cooking classes, fitness competitions, or quit-smoking classes. The interventions may vary from program to program, but all are designed to promote lasting, healthy lifestyle changes.

*Source:* (Heart and Stoke A to Z Guide)

Selected Resources

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*Links to non-Federal organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. Links do not constitute an endorsement of any organization by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. The CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at this link.

Page last reviewed: November 5, 2008
Page last modified: November 5, 2008

Content source: Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

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Spotlight on a WISEWOMAN

Photograph of Lana Hanson

Lana Hanson:
It’s Never Too Late to Start Taking Charge of Your Health

Before learning about the Ladies First program in Vermont, Lana Hanson would skip breakfast and have cookies and potato chips for lunch. Her only complete meal of the day would be dinner, which consisted of hot dogs or hamburgers with a potato and a vegetable. “I really had bad eating habits” Lana remembers.

A friend told Lana about the Ladies First program that provides free mammograms and a complete physical exam including testing for high cholesterol, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and weight. The idea of getting a free complete physical exam that included a free mammogram excited Lana, since she did not have health insurance. “I never had a real good physical, and you are supposed to have a mammogram done when you are 40 years old, and I never had one.”

More of This Success »

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