Heart and vascular disease remains the leading contributor to morbidity and mortality among both women and men. While the decrease in mortality among women is well documented, the decline still lags behind that of men, with an alarming tendency towards an increase mortality rate among younger women. Despite statistics that show disease develops on average 7–10 years later in women compared with men, adverse trends in many risk factors among women are of growing concern.
Women also have an increased lifetime prevalence of stroke risk factors, including hypertension, as well as abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome, especially in middle-aged women.
Cardiovascular disease and stroke impact women differently across race and ethnicity while cultural, educational and economic disparities further complicate prevention efforts like screening and risk factor management, diagnosis, treatment selection and patient compliance or cooperation.
Greater life expectancy for women, together with improvements in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular, will lead to a larger proportion of women living with disease. Substantial sex differences in the burden of different manifestations of cardiovascular disease, including coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, heart failure, and peripheral artery disease, are widely recognized and must be addressed as new research and best practices are developed.
The Center for Women’s Heart & Vascular Health sponsors this annual symposium on issues concerning cardiovascular disease in women. First held in 2010 with more than 100 participants, this day-long symposium for all healthcare providers caring for women today.
The goal of this symposium is to educate the primary care physicians for women; obstetricians/gynecologists, internal medicine, family practice, endocrinologists, and nurse practitioners about prevention, early diagnosis and treatment strategies for heart disease in women.