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Cardiovascular Disease in Women - Online Symposium

Risk, Diagnosis and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease in Women

Date of Online Release: June 24, 2011
Date of Original Presentation: 
     September 11, 2010
Credits: 3.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™

To view presentations, see Course Materials below.

CME Information - Overview


Heart and vascular diseases are the greatest threat to women's health worldwide and most American women are unaware of their risk. An estimated 41 million American women live with these diseases and, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Texas has the third highest prevalence of women with heart disease, with over 600,000 women affected in 2004. Also known as cardiovascular diseases (CVD), they include heart attack, heart failure, strokes, peripheral artery disease and other diseases of the heart and circulatory system.  

These diseases affect more women than men and are responsible for more than 40% of all deaths in American women. Many women who have a heart attack do not know it since they are not aware that symptoms in a woman are different than what are widely known as "heart attack symptoms" that apply to men. Heart attacks are generally more severe in women than men. Women can expect to live a large part of their lives with an increased risk of heart disease; and, 1 out of 4 women older than 65 has some form of heart disease. 

What's more, a 2005 survey by the American Heart Association showed that only 8% of primary care physicians and 17% of cardiologists know about these gender differences.

Since treatment during or immediately following a heart attack significantly mitigates the resulting long term damage, accurately identifying symptoms in women is critical to the lifetime wellness of women. So too is identifying treatments that are most effective for women. While effective treatments are not understood, we do know that women have 50% more adverse drug reactions than men. Additionally, the trajectory of women's heart disease is distinct from that of men.  Plaque builds up differently in women's arteries in a way that typical testing does not detect, and menopause significantly increases a woman's risk. Finally, little study has gone into effective prevention strategies for women. Treatment guidelines are developed from the medical literature, dictating the standard of care for all patients. However, less than 25% of those enrolled in the trials are women. Clearly it is time for a focused education and research effort to elucidate diagnosis, treatment and prevention of heart disease in women.

Educational Objectives
The intended result of this activity is increased knowledge. At the conclusion of this symposium, participants should be able to

  • Cite the identification of cardiac risk factors in women;
  • Assess standard and specific lipid laboratory panels;
  • Review current guidelines for treatment of various dyslipidemias;
  • Make an overall cardiovascular risk stratification of female patients that will be use to guide preventive treatment strategies.

Target Audience
The intended audience for this continuing medical education activity includes cardiologists, gynecologists, primary care physicians, internal medicine physicians, family practitioners, endocrinologists and nurse practitioners.

Method of Instruction / Participation
This online enduring material comprises slide sets with text and audio derived from a live symposium with post activity assessment and evaluation.

Evaluation / Feedback
We value your feedback; please send your suggestions and comments to the Office of Continuing Medical Education at Texas Heart Institute, cme@heart.thi.tmc.edu.

Program Director

Dr. Stephanie A. Coulter, Director, Center for Women's Heart & Vascular Health

Stephanie A. Coulter, MD
Director, Texas Heart Institute Center for Women's Heart & Vascular Health,
Associate Director, Non-Invasive Cardiology, Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital,
Houston, Texas


Acknowledgement of Support

We acknowledge the following for their support of the live event from which this activity was derived: Abbott Vascular, Astellas, AstraZeneca, Boston Scientific, GlaxoSmithKline, Medtronic, Merck, sanofi-aventis, St. Jude and Thoratec.

We would like to thank Comerica Bank for their support of the production of these online enduring materials.

Accreditation / Credit Designation

Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Texas Heart Institute designates this educational activity for a maximum of 3.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Estimated Study Time
The estimated time to complete this activity, including review of the materials and completion of the course assessment is 3-1/4 hours.

Repurposing Statement
If you previously completed and received credit for the live CME-sponsored symposium entitled Risk, Diagnosis and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease in Women, on September 11, 2010, please note that you will not receive credit for completing this activity. Participants who take part in an identical activity, even in order to validate learning or to clarify specific topics, cannot claim, nor will the Texas Heart Institute award, duplicate credit for the activity.

Term of Approval
June 24, 2011 through June 24, 2014. Continuation of CME credit from June 24, 2014 depends upon a thorough review of the content for currency and accuracy.

Peer Review
In June 2011, this continuing medical education activity was reviewed for currency and accuracy of content by Patrick J. Hogan, MD, FACC, Director Learning Resource Center and Co-Chairman, Medical Education Committee, Texas Heart Institute, Houston, TX.

Disclosure of Relationships
It is the intent of the Texas Heart Institute to ensure that its educational mission and its continuing medical activities in particular, should not be influenced by the special interests of individuals associated with its program.

Faculty Disclosure
In accordance with the guidelines of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, faculty members have disclosed their relationships with either the manufacturers of commercial products discussed, or the corporate organizations offering educational grants for the live continuing medical education activity.

Ann Smith Barnes, MD has nothing to disclose relevant to this program.  

Eric Boerwinkle, PhD has nothing to disclose relevant to this program.  

Roberta Bogaev, MD has nothing to disclose relevant to this program.  

Stephanie Coulter, MD has nothing to disclose relevant to this program.  

Wayne J. Franklin, MD has nothing to disclose relevant to this program.  

Eduardo Hernandez-Vila, MD has nothing to disclose relevant to this program.  

Salim Virani, MD receives research grants from Merck &Co, Inc., NIH, VA and NFL. He is on the speakers' bureau of Abbott Laboratories.

In addition, peer reviewer, Patrick J. Hogan, MD has nothing to disclose relevant to this program.

Course Materials and CME Credit

This enduring material comprises 8 presentations. By clicking on the course materials link below, you acknowledge that you have reviewed the CME information provided above. After viewing all presentations, you must complete an assessment and evaluation to obtain CME credit for this activity.

Course Materials for Cardiovascular Disease in Women


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