Tag Archives: women and heart disease

What’s the single biggest health threat women face?

21 Apr

One out of every two of you reading this right now will be impacted by cardiovascular disease in your lifetime, warns cardiologist Dr. Noel Bairey-Merz, Director of the Cedars Sinai Women’s Heart Center in Los Angeles. And worse, diagnostic and treatment strategies “developed in men, by men, for men for the last 50 years” are not working so well for women.

Go grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and enjoy this must-see presentation.

Heart attack: “Brushing it off as if it were nothing!”

13 Feb


Just in time for Heart Month!  Watch this compelling little 7-minute film featuring Stanford University heart patients and staff, and then forward the link on to every woman you care about.


Starting now, commit to adding at least one heart-healthy new lifestyle change each day.



Listen up, ladies: 16 things I’ve been meaning to tell you

28 Jan

by Carolyn Thomas

These days, I like to ask women in my heart health presentation audiences what they imagine I would have done had it been my daughter Larissa suffering the same heart attack symptoms that I’d been doing my best to ignore while on that cross-country flight from Ottawa.

Would I have patted her nicely on the head and urged her to just hang in there for nine more hours?  No, my heart sisters, you can rest assured that I would have been screaming blue murder to get immediate help for her.  Yes, even if it meant turning the damned airplane around during this medical emergency.

I was lucky. I managed to survive a heart attack that night on that plane – despite my very foolish determination to “not make a fuss”.  Ever since, I’ve been trying my best to bonk women on the head with reminders to put themselves first on their priority lists, and to be their own best health advocates. But this is an uphill battle that is being waged throughout all levels of women’s health care. Apparently, not even surviving a cardiac crisis is enough to convince some women that they need to start carving out “me-time” every day for the sake of their physical and mental health.   Continue reading

“Seeking Social Solace”: why aren’t heart patients online?

15 Dec

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

See that microscopically tiny little purple sliver near the top of the pie chart? That’s heart disease – and the sliver represents how many heart patients are going online to engage with others about our shared diagnosis. As you can see, we make up barely 2% of all diagnoses discussed by patients on social media, the second smallest slice of this very big tasty pie.  You might wonder why that is given that, compared to every other disease included in this study’s findings, heart disease is our biggest killer. Continue reading

Does surviving a heart attack make you a better person?

30 Sep

by Carolyn Thomas  ♥  @HeartSisters

Here’s what happens when a PR person (like me, for instance) survives a heart attack, but is no longer well enough to return to work. During extended medical leave, that PR person continues to do just what she knows how to do: she writes, she does public talks, she looks stuff up.  She  launches a blog and gets invited to attend cardiology conferences to speak or to write about the proceedings for her blog readers.

And all around her, people then respond by gushing things like:

“You have taken this catastrophically bad thing and turned it into a wonderfully good thing!”

The late Dr. Jessie Gruman would have likely recognized this not-so-subtle expectation that good patients will somehow take the lemons that life curveballs at them and make deliciously noble lemonade.  Continue reading