Experts Identify Why Women And African Americans Face A Greater Risk Of Dying From Heart Disease Than White Men And What Can Be Done About It
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The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) announced an educational event for the public highlighting the gender and racial disparities in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. The "Know What Counts" educational program titled, "The Path to Health Care Equity: Identifying and Solving Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities in Health Care in the New Century," will feature a distinguished physician panel, along with a keynote address by U.S. Senator Ben Cardin. The event, which is co-sponsored by the Association of Black Cardiologists, Mended Hearts, and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, will be held Tuesday, March 2, from noon to 3 p.m. at the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.
"This event will allow us to engage in a constructive conversation about gender and racial disparities that currently exist in the treatment of cardiovascular disease," said Mark Turco, MD, FACC, FSCAI, Director, Center for Cardiac & Vascular Research at Washington Adventist Hospital. "We will address ways to close the gap in cardiovascular care and outcomes, so gender, race, and ethnicity cease to be relevant to survival and quality-of-life with heart disease."
Cardiovascular disease, which is consistently the number one killer of both men and women in America, affected an estimated 80 million people in the U.S. in 2006. In addition, CVD was the cause of more than 35 percent of all U.S. deaths in 2005. Women under the age of 50 are twice as likely to die from a heart attack as men in their same age group. African American women ages 55-64 are twice as likely as white women to have a heart attack and 35 percent more likely to suffer from heart disease. In 2006, nearly 47 percent of African American women, and nearly 45 percent of African American males had CVD.
Program director Dr. Turco will lead the event. Other notable event participants will include:
-- Marcos Pesquera, RPh, MPH, Executive Director of the Center on Health Disparities, Adventist HealthCare
-- Brian Smedley, PhD, Vice President and Director, Health Policy Institute Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
-- Allen J. Taylor, MD, FACC, FAHA, Director of Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging Lipid/Prevention Clinic, Department of Cardiology, Washington Hospital Center
-- Ron Waksman, MD, Associate Director, Division of Cardiology at the Washington Hospital Center and Director of Experimental Angioplasty & Emerging Technologies for the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Washington Hospital Center
The program will also feature dramatic testimonials from local heart disease patients who will share their stories of survival to inspire hope for other patients who suffer from heart disease.
"As we seek to shape true reform in our health care system, we must first address the disparities that exist among our citizens, specifically women and people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds," said Mr. Pesquera. "This event will give us a forum for excellent dialogue to not only raise awareness on this issue, but also to provide real solutions on how we can best achieve this long-sought parity in care.
"Despite the near split in prevalence of heart disease between men and women, women account for only 20 to 25 percent of patients enrolled in most CVD clinical trials," said Dr. Turco. "Recruiting diverse patients to participate in clinical trials is a huge priority for the cardiovascular research community."
"To address these differences, SCAI launched WINHeart Score a WIN for Women, an initiative to raise awareness surrounding gender-based disparities in the diagnosis, treatment and survival of women with cardiovascular disease," says Steven R. Bailey, MD, FSCAI, president of SCAI and chief, division of cardiology, Janey Briscoe Distinguished Chair of Cardiovascular Research and professor of medicine and radiology at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio. "Additionally, Women In Innovations (WIN), a group of interventional cardiologists within SCAI, recently released a report and survey that illustrate why cardiovascular disease is under-recognized and under-treated in women."
About SCAI's 'Know What Counts' Events
'Know What Counts' is a regional series designed by SCAI specifically to provide patients and health care providers with up-to-date education on the latest advances in the treatment of patients with CVD and overall best patient care. The programs provide an engaging environment in which attendees can interact and discuss topics related to the care of patients with CVD.
SCAI has undertaken this education initiative with its own resources as well as commercial funding and support from Abbott Vascular and Medtronic CardioVascular.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions is a 4,000-member professional organization representing invasive and interventional cardiologists in more than 60 nations. SCAI's mission is to promote excellence in invasive and interventional cardiovascular medicine through physician education and representation, and advancement of quality standards to enhance patient care. SCAI's annual meeting has become the leading venue for education, discussion, and debate about the latest developments in this dynamic medical specialty. SCAI's patient and physician education program, Seconds Count, offers comprehensive information about cardiovascular disease.
The Association of Black Cardiologists is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to eliminating disparities related to cardiovascular care for people of color. Founded in 1974, and fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, the Association has a national and international membership of 2,500 health professionals, Community Health Advocates (lay community members), corporate and institutional members who are making a health impact on communities across the nation.
About Mended Hearts
Mended Hearts is a community-based, nationwide heart patient support network founded in 1951. More than 18,400 members operate through 300 chapters and satellite organizations across the U.S., with two chapters in Canada. Recognized for its role in facilitating a positive patient-care experience, Mended Hearts partners with 460 hospitals and rehabilitation clinics offering heart patient support through visiting programs, group meetings and educational forums. The Mended Hearts mission is "dedicated to inspiring hope in heart disease patients and their families."
About WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease
WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is the nation's only patient advocacy organization serving the 42 million American women living with or at risk for heart disease the number one killer of women. WomenHeart is solely devoted to advancing women's heart health through advocacy, community education, and the nation's only patient support network for women living with heart disease. WomenHeart is both a coalition and a community of thousands of members nationwide, including women heart patients and their families, physicians, and health advocates, all committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives.
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