02 , 2005
Two national health organizations are teaming up in an Orwellian effort to pander to women and mislead the American public about the threat of heart disease.
First, for those of us who care about such things, the facts. According to the latest government report, men die an average of 5.4 years before women.
The main reason for that disparity in life expectancy is heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women alike.
But men's risk of dying from heart disease is far greater than women's - about 50% higher. These are the actual numbers from the recent report, Health, United States, 2004: The adjusted heart disease death rates in 2002 were 297 per 100,000 persons for men and 197 for women.
Those figures actually understate the extent of the problem, because when men die of heart disease, they are typically in their 40s and 50s, whereas women usually die of heart disease at a later age.
This means that when women die from this condition, their kids are out on their own. But men stricken by heart disease are still the main breadwinners for the family, working overtime to pay off the mortgage and driving the kids to soccer practice. His untimely death is a medical and financial disaster for the wife and kids.
Public health experts have a way of gauging that age effect - it's called "Years of potential life lost." So in 2002, the number of potential years lost due to heart disease was 1,707 for men, and only 749 for women. That's more than a two-fold difference.
But we live in an Alice-in-Wonderland world where the wishes of women necessarily trump the medical necessities of men. Thus, we are told that we should be more concerned about women, not men, who are risk of heart disease.
So get ready for National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 4. The American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health are urging women to wear red that day, using the predictable feminist jargon, in order to "share the power."
But this event is not limited to one day - it's a full-fledged campaign. All across the country, local chapters of the American Heart Association will be celebrating every manner of activity, including Woman-to-Woman conferences, Wear Red Day, and Go Red for Women luncheons.
Ironically, these AHA events are all co-sponsored by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, the folks who make millions of dollars selling Viagra to men.
Orwellians always try to cover their tracks by invoking the notion of "truth." The Wear Red Day campaign is no exception to that rule.
Go to the National Institutes of Health website, and there you will see how the decidely one-sided "truth" will be presented at a series of Heart "Truth" Events . These events include an Olympus Fashion Week, Single City Community Events, outreach to health professionals, and the Heart Truth Road Show.
How do upstanding organizations like the American Heart Association and National Institutes of Health justify the embarrassing neglect of men's hearts?
Here's what Dr. Augustus Grant, president of the American Heart Association, had to say: "Heart disease kills more American women than any other disease, yet surveys show that when you ask women to name their No. 1 health threat, less than half answer correctly."
But the AHA didn't even bother to survey men. Sometimes you almost have to feel sorry for those afflicted by political correctness, persons who are so easily taken in by their pat answers and delusions of gender enlightenment.
Propaganda campaigns always have their share of sweet ironies. And here, the Heart Truth website talks about women celebrating the impending Valentine's Day.
But when those women open their husband's gift of mouth-watering chocolates, how many will realize that they may well spend their Golden Years alone, ruing the fact that their husband's life was cut short by heart disease?
And as they are lovingly handed that bunch of red roses, how many single girls know their boyfriend faces a 50% greater risk of dying of heart disease than they do?
On February the fourth, as these women admire the svelte models strolling down the runway at the Red Dress Collection Fashion Show, how many will appreciate the irony?