How these doctors have saved thousands of women

by Carolyn Thomas

A guest post by Dr. Annabelle Santos Volgman, McMullan-Eybel Chair for Excellence in Clinical Cardiology, Professor of Medicine, Rush College of Medicine, and Medical Director, Rush Heart Center for Women, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL; and Marissa Bergman, Associate Editor, Today’s Chicago Woman

“2013 was the first year since 1984 that fewer women died of heart disease than men(1)—despite being viewed as solely a man’s health issue. This decline was the result of the tireless work of a small group of women who have dedicated their lives to eradicating this misunderstanding and unequal treatment of women’s heart disease. Continue reading “How these doctors have saved thousands of women”

Women, controversial statin guidelines, and common sense

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

101109expIf you’re a heart patient, I’m betting that you’re already taking one of the cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. That’s because these drugs – with brand names like Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor or any of their generic forms – are routinely prescribed to those diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. Many studies (largely funded by the drug companies that make statins) suggest that, for heart attack survivors, these drugs may help to significantly lower our risk of having another cardiac event. It’s what doctors call “secondary prevention”.

Some studies further suggest that statins are also useful for those who’ve never had heart disease, but who do have high LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol – what’s called “primary prevention”. But recently, statins hit the front page of The New York Times with a big fat *splat* when new clinical practice guidelines for treating/preventing heart disease were released by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology (both heart organizations that are coincidentally largely funded by drug companies, too). The guidelines essentially said: from now on, forget about your LDL numbers. It’s all about your risk factors now. 

The likely result of this change, as I observed here and here, is the recommendation that, as long as you have a detectable pulse, you need to take statins. 

Continue reading “Women, controversial statin guidelines, and common sense”

When I’m 64: aging and women’s heart disease

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“The frightening thing about middle age is knowing you’ll grow out of it.”  – Doris Day

WomenHeart, September 2009 – “These days, many women like hearing that 40 is the new 30, but recent studies point to declining life expectancy rates among women, as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure rates increase.

“Many women do know that they face significant heart health hurdles as they head into their golden years, but successfully navigating those challenges can be tricky for someone of any age. While women can still expect an average life expectancy of around 80 years of age, it’s no fun to spend those years in poor health.   Continue reading “When I’m 64: aging and women’s heart disease”