Genesys working to help diagnose heart disease

GENESEE COUNTY — Heat disease in the #1 killer of women age 20 and over. One and three women has some form of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease kills about 433,000 women every year — almost one each minute. About 64 percent of women who die suddenly from coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Yet, despite being highly under diagnosed, heart disease in women is largely preventable, which is why the Genesys Heart Institute has taken action to help decrease these alarming numbers.

Genesys was invited to participate in a national, first of its kind, pilot study designed to increase awareness of heart disease in women, and improve diagnosis and treatment in women with heart disease.

Nationally, about 3,000 OB/Gyn patients over the age of 40 will complete a health screening questionnaire to identify their risk factors for heart disease at an earlier age so they can begin to obtain preventive care. Only 10 sites in the entire country have been chosen to participate in this pilot heart study. Genesys is one of the 10, and is the pilot site for the Midwest. David Dobies, MD, interventional cardiologist, is working with Joseph Kingsbury, DO, OB/Gyn; to lead the initiative at Genesys.

“The pilot will provide invaluable information for diagnosis and treatment of women with heart disease,” said Kimberly Barber, PhD, director of the Genesys Office of Research, the arm of Genesys coordinating the study with Abbot Vascular Research.

Through this groundbreaking study, researches expect to:

 Identify the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in women

 Better understand the gaps in awareness of cardiovascular disease in women

 Explore gender disparities in diagnosis of cardiovascular disease

 Obtain clinical information about heart disease in women that was previously unknown

 Determine the novel definitions and risk factors regarding women and cardiovascular disease

 Better understand the role of the OB/Gyn in women’s heart health

“Historically, about 75 percent of the information available in diagnosing heart disease is from studies in men,” said Barber. “Very few heart studies on women exist. There truly is a gender gap in awareness. In addition, symptoms of heart disease can be very different in women, and thus, it can be more difficult to diagnose heart disease in women.

“That is why the information obtained fro this national study is so invaluable to the future heart health of women,” she said.

Details: Call 810-606-7722. — M.O.

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