As American Heart Month comes to a close, we continue to bring you more of our favorite heart health campaigns. This week we highlight the Close the Gap Campaign, which is an awareness initiative that addresses the disparities in cardiovascular care for women, Black Americans and Hispanic/Latino Americans.

Heart disease does not discriminate; it affects all racial and ethnic groups in similar form. However women and people of color are treated at a lesser rate for cardiovascular disease than Caucasian men. Close the Gap was developed by Boston Scientific and a team of physicians and healthcare professionals across the United States to look for ways to address these disparities in access to cardiovascular care.

Close the Gap focuses on three areas: community education, patient values, and quality measures. Boston Scientific brings physicians, community leaders, athletes, and religious leaders together to educate members of their communities about cardiovascular risk factors.  By increasing community awareness, the program is able to educate, identify and help more high-risk patients.

For example, among Mexican American adults alone, 34.4% of women and 31.6% of men suffer from cardiovascular disease. Prevention and early detection of heart disease in Latinos is difficult due to language barriers, lack of transportation and awareness. Close the Gap is an awareness campaign that brings these issues to light, and looks for ways to make care more accessible to these groups.

Regardless of ethnicity, heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States, and claims the lives of approximately one million people each year. Close the Gap is a great campaign and educational initiative that brings attention to heart health disparities for the under-served populations.

To learn more, visit the Close the Gap campaign website.