Doctors and organ transplant recipients gathered at Good Shepherd Catholic Academy in Madison on Feb. 28 for a free women’s heart-health information session sponsored by Maimonides Medical Center’s Heart and Vascular Institute. The event spotlighted an overlooked health problem by featuring doctors, experts, and patients, who discussed the signs and symptoms of heart disease in women, according to the hospital’s project manager, who helps organize the quarterly session.
“The purpose of the women’s heart program is to address a very underrepresented topic, in that women’s heart disease is very different from the ways it affects men, but there’s not a lot of attention put into that,” said Alex Lojo,
who is not a clinician.
A slew of medical professionals from the heart and vascular institute — including nurse practitioner Rivka Mintz, Ruth Diener Platt, Dr. Inna Nelipovich, and dietitian Anna Nabutovskaya — spoke to the attendees about the signs and “silent symptoms” of heart disease in an effort to help women understand the prevalence of the disease, the specific ways it manifests in women, and the importance of regular doctor’s visits, Lojo said.
“For years — and even now — heart disease is mainly stereotyped into a man’s disease,” he said. “Heart disease for women is actually the number-one killer, surpassing breast cancer, but breast cancer gets a lot more attention. A lot of women don’t know that they have some sort of heart disease until it’s too late. It’s really more about lack of awareness and education.” — Julianne McShane