Newswise — Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability in American women. More women than men die of cardiovascular disease. 462,000 women die annually, and 410,000 men die from the same cause, yet only 17 percent of cardiologists knew this, according to an AHA 2005 study. Women are twice as likely as men to die when they suffer a heart attack. Why? For one thing, they typically wait longer (20 minutes to 2 hours) to call 911. When a woman finally gets to the emergency room, she may be misdiagnosed or wait longer for treatment. However, ongoing information regarding new studies and findings constantly raise awareness about "heart health" and are a valuable resource for the many questions women have about heart disease. However certain specific heart problems effect certain populations in different ways. Leading NYU Medical Center Cardiology experts are available to discuss the newest information regarding women and heart disease:
Judith Hochman, M.D., Director of the Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center
Nieca Goldberg, M.D., Medical Director of NYU's Women's Heart Program
Jennifer Mieres, M.D., Director of Nuclear Cardiology
Dr. Judith Hochman, directs the Cardiovascular Research Center at NYU and is an internationally recognized leader in cardiovascular research. She led a landmark study called the Occluded Artery Trial (OAT) showing that patients with blocked arteries only benefit from treatment to restore vital blood flow to the heart in the first 24 hours after a heart attack.
Opening totally blocked arteries in the first 12 hours after a heart attack with angioplasty can quickly restore vital blood flow to the heart and is considered optimal treatment for almost all patients. Dr. Hochman can discuss the risks patients face if they do not reach the hospital in time to receive treatment after the onset of symptoms of a heart attack.
Dr. Hochman can discuss the optimal treatment for heart attack, depending on when a patient reaches a hospital, and she is available to discuss the implications of the landmark findings in the studies involving cardiogenic shock, a leading cause of death from a massive heart attack.
Dr. Nieca Goldberg, leads the NYU Women's Heart Program and is nationally recognized as a pioneer in women's heart health. She is the author of the new book entitled The Women's Healthy Heart Program. According to Dr. Goldberg "There has been progress in understanding the differences in cardiovascular disease between men and women, but not in treating women. "Many women who come to see me have had previous evaluations, often from multiple specialists, but were told nothing was wrong. They feel that doctors dismiss their symptoms. Well, if 'nothing is wrong' why do they still have symptoms?" Even when a woman does have classic chest pain, it may be attributed to other causes, such as anxiety. Her recent study, for example, talks about how chronic anxiety can significantly increase the markers that showing the risks for heart disease.
Dr. Jennifer Mieres, Director of Nuclear Cardiology, who leads the Her Heart Health Program, is a nationally recognized expert in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases in women. She is a member of the board of directors of the Long Island region of the American Heart Association (AHA), acting as a national spokesperson, and serves as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for Womenheart, the national coalition for women living with heart disease. The Her Heart Health Program interfaces with the newly established Women's Heart Program, led by Dr. Nieca Goldberg. She recently co-authored the book Heart Smart for Black Women and Latinas: A Five Week Program for Living a Heart- Healthy Lifestyle. This book discusses the fact that heart disease is the number one cause of death in women. While African- Americans and Latinas are at a higher risk than Caucasians, the news of this danger doesn't seem to be reaching them: 68% of White Women knew heart disease was the number one killer compared to 34% Hispanics and 38% Black women according to a 2006 survery by the American Heart Association. Heart Smart shows an easy 5-step program to get on track to a heart-healthy lifestyle. She offers a simple yet powerful message: you don't have to radically change the way you live to have a heart-healthier life. Even ten minutes of exercise a day, or substituting a fruit for one serving of fried food, can begin to make a world of a difference.
Dr. Mieres can speak about guiding women toward making small weekly changes in three critical areas: diet, exercise, and stress reduction. She advocates "the key to changing your lifestyle and staying there, is doing it gradually."