In association with the Heart of Scotland Appeal, Heart Research UK has continued their partnership with Scottish Women in Sport to proudly support International Women’s Day.  Monday 8th March 2021, we are celebrating women taking on heart disease.


First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has backed our collaboration with Scottish Women in Sport on International Women Day to highlight the importance between an active lifestyle and a healthy heart whilst encouraging more women in Scotland to get active.

Every year, coronary heart disease, including heart attacks, kills around 2,600 women in Scotland – that’s seven women every day.

We have invited six of the foremost Scottish sportswomen to share with us their experiences of reaching the pinnacle of their respective sports and their advice for any young person wishing to follow in their footsteps.

Feeling inspired? 

We know that a healthy lifestyle and getting the recommended daily amount of exercise can help reduce the likelihood of coronary heart disease.

If you are inspired to take up a new sport or pastime then you can find out your nearest sports centre below.

  • Every year, coronary heart disease, including heart attacks, kills around 2,600 women in Scotland – that’s seven women every day.
  • There are currently around 90,000 women in Scotland who are living with coronary heart disease. But too many women are not aware that they are at risk
  • 720,000 people in Scotland are living with the daily burden of heart and circulatory diseases.
  • In Scotland, coronary heart disease kills almost three times as many women as breast cancer
  • Coronary heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Scotland
  • Death rates from coronary heart disease in Scotland are higher than those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

In 2019, Heart Research UK launched the Heart of Scotland Appeal in response to the startling statistics associated with levels of cardiovascular disease in Scotland. 47 people a day die from cardiovascular disease in Scotland. 47 people, every single day.


The Heart of Scotland Appeal garnered significant support across many corporate supporters, well-known celebrities, parliamentary figures and networks who wanted to raise awareness of heart disease in Scotland specifically.


One of those networks that we were keen to partner with was Scottish Women in Sport, a registered charity, with a vision for an inclusive Scotland where there is equity in all areas of sport.  Their mission is to encourage females of all ages, abilities, ethnicities and walks of life to participate in sport or physical activity, which will result in a happy and healthier Scotland.


With their links to acclaimed top-level athletes from a range of disciplines, alongside the numerous eminent researchers and clinicians that have offered their support to Heart Research UK, we felt a campaign that would celebrate these exemplary female role models would work perfectly. To tie in with both International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11th and International Women’s Day on March 8th, our aim is to not only educate a large audience of the threat of coronary heart disease but to encourage women everywhere to get more involved in sport and physical activity.


On March 8th 2021, we celebrated International Women’s Day by featuring inspirational video interviews with some of Scotland’s leading female sports performers to talk about what motivates them and what advice they can give to all aspiring sportswomen.

In our first collaboration with Scottish Women in Sport, together we produced a series of video interviews with four of the leading Scottish female researchers, academics and practitioners who have devoted their time and expertise to taking on heart disease for International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

View the video interviews here

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