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Barbra Streisand meets with lawmakers to support more funding, research for heart disease

WASHINGTON - Barbra Streisand appealed Wednesday to U.S. lawmakers for more funding and research devoted to women and heart disease, calling it the No. 1 killer of women even as most research into the disease focuses on men.

"A woman's heart is different from a man's, yet women's hearts are under-researched, go untreated and are misdiagnosed," Streisand said in a statement. "Together, we can change that."

The Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony winner, wearing all black and a long gold necklace, and two cardiologists spoke during a closed meeting with the House Bipartisan Women's Caucus. People packed the meeting room and applauded during the session. She also met with the Senate women's caucus and with other lawmakers.

In 2012, Streisand founded the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles to help research the disease that kills more women than all forms of cancer combined.

Joining her on the Hill were cardiologists Dr. C. Noel Bairey Merz, director of Streisand's Heart Center, and Dr. Holly S. Andersen, attending cardiologist and director of education and outreach at the Perelman Heart Institute at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

"The time is now," Streisand said in her statement. "We cannot let another year pass when another 400,000 of our fellow women die because these disparities aren't addressed."

The members she met with included Sens. John McCain, a Republican, and Dick Durbin, a Democrat, and Rep. Steny Hoyer, a Democrat.

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