Posts Tagged ‘heart disease in women’

We ♥ Wine – A Local Event Raises Awareness on Women’s Heart Disease

Emory Johns Creek Women's Heart Center Event

Dr. Gina Lundberg chats with guests at a presentation on the new Emory Women’s Heart Center.

Gina Price Lundberg, MD, Clinical Director of Emory Women’s Heart Center recently spoke to the group of almost 30 guests about women’s heart disease—which is now the leading cause of death and disability in women in the U.S.—to residents and members of St Ives Country Club at a private wine tasting event. The reason, Lundberg explains, is that women’s heart disease symptoms can be dramatically different from men’s—and alarmingly subtle. In some cases, Lundberg explains, women who were having heart attacks thought they merely had a bad case of the flu.

Hence the creation of the Emory Women’s Heart Center, which originated at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital and has now expanded to locations in Johns Creek, Midtown and East Cobb. With the help of Dr. Lundberg, the Emory Johns Creek Hospital team introduced the new  Emory Women’s Heart Center at the event, where Johns Creek Wine & Crystal provided wine service. On the menu were a trio of wines from Ehler’s Estates, a California winery owned by the non-profit Leducq Foundation, which awards more than $30 million annually to directly support international cardiovascular research. One of the cabernets served was appropriately labeled One Twenty Over Eighty.

Additional locations are opening soon in Decatur and on Clifton Road. The mission of the Women’s Heart Center, she says, is to educate women as well as their physicians about the differences in women’s cardiac symptoms and risk factors. Emory Women’s Heart Center also offers an innovative program of one-on-one screenings that are tailored to each woman and take about two hours to complete. Lundberg says these screenings are designed for women who think they may be at higher risk but are not currently under the care of a cardiologist. “If you’ve already had a heart attack or are currently seeing a cardiologist, continue long term follow up for risk reduction,” she advises.

Laboratory and nursing staff from Emory Johns Creek hospital provided free blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol screenings. Jeffery Hershey, MD, of Emory Heart and Vascular at Johns Creek, used the screening results to calculate preliminary risk scores for the guests.

For more information about Emory Women’s Heart Center, visit emoryhealthcare.org/womensheart. To schedule an appointment, please call 404-778-7777.

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Understanding Heart Disease in Women

Dr. Farheen Shirazi

Dr. Farheen Shirazi

Dr. Farheen Shirazi, Emory Heart & Vascular Center cardiologist, recently conducted a live web chat on the topic of women and heart disease. During the chat, Dr. Shirazi provided participants with information ranging from how women can prevent heart disease to the importance of getting treatment right away, and details on the latest research underway to combat heart disease in women.

One of our attendees in Tuesday’s chat asked Dr. Shirazi, “What is the best diet for patients with heart disease?” Dr. Shirazi noted that the most effective diet will depend on each person’s specific risk factors for heart disease, but in general, the most recent evidence suggests that the Mediterranean diet is heart healthy. Dr. Shirazi explained that the Mediterranean Diet is rich in lean protein (poultry), good fats (olive oil) and omega-3s (fatty fish), and low in saturated fats and bad carbohydrates. And like any healthy diet, the Mediterranean Diet is low in sodium and loaded with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Another great question fielded by Dr. Shirazi in Tuesday’s live chat was related to symptoms and warning signs of heart disease, “I have read that symptoms of coronary heart disease are different in woman than in men, but when symptoms present, at what point should you seek medical attention? I sometimes feel chest discomfort, even sharp pains, but how will I know if it’s more serious than say stress for example?” Dr. Shirazi says patients should trust their instincts if something doesn’t “feel right,” in which case, Dr. Shirazi recommends seeing a medical professional. “A provider will be able to evaluate your symptoms and do appropriate screening. If you’re having any symptoms such as: chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, excessive fatigue, dizziness, loss of consciousness, or abdominal pain (to list a few), you should see your primary care physician. Your cardiologist will then be able to further assess your risk for heart disease,” she says.

In addition to the questions above, Dr. Shirazi answered questions related to cholesterol levels, hormone replacement therapy, and several other topics specific to heart disease in women. Most importantly, though, she reminded participants to take action immediately if they are at risk for, or experiencing symptoms of, heart disease.

For more information, check out the Women and Heart Disease chat transcript.

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