What Barbra Streisand Wants Women to Know About Heart Disease – PEOPLE.com

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Barbra Streisand says her starring role in Yentl, about a young woman who had to pretend she was a man to get an education, ignited her passion to fight to give women the same chances in life as men.

So, when she became aware of the major gender disparity in heart disease research, funding and treatment – a majority of heart research is done on men – she knew she had to try to do something about it.

“For me, it’s about gender equality,” the Oscar winner, 74, tells PEOPLE. “Women are 50 percent more likely to be given a wrong diagnosis after a heart attack and are at a greater risk of dying within a year of a heart attack than men.

The singer co-founded the Women’s Heart Alliance, which works to raise awareness and research to fight women’s heart disease.

“Heart disease and stroke are the number one killers of women,” says Streisand who points out that…

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