"Women and Heart Disease" Breakfast will Highlight Growing Disparity in Rates of Heart Disease Between Women and Men

Heart disease is the number one killer of women

GREENBRAE, CA — Americans are winning the battle against heart disease—but losing the war. And in this war, the highest mortality rate is among women.

That’s the stark message of recent heart disease statistics released by the American Heart Association (AHA), and one of the reasons why Marin General Hospital’s Haynes Cardiovascular Institute will host a free community breakfast for women on February 1st. “Take Charge of Your Heart: Tips and Advice for Women” is designed to provide an overview of heart disease in women and help them develop better prevention strategies. Dr. Margaret Baer, a Marin General Hospital cardiologist with a special interest in taking care of women with heart disease, will present practical advice on how to take charge of your heart health, and three Marin General Hospital heart patients will talk about their own experiences.

Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease and the gap is widening. One reason is that women wait longer than men to go to an emergency room. Another is that women’s heart attack symptoms can easily be misinterpreted. More than 70% of women experience early warning signs such as extreme weakness and flu-like symptoms, but two out of three women who die from heart attacks have no history of chest pain. 

While the death rate from heart diseases declined 27.8 percent from 1997 to 2007 (most recent data available) and the stroke death rate fell 44.8 percent, the total number of inpatient cardiovascular operations and procedures increased more than 27 percent, according to Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2011, published online in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. These treatments are saving lives, but the need for many of them could be prevented through the adoption of healthy lifestyles.

“Take Charge of Your Heart: Tips and Advice for Women” takes place Friday, February 1 at the Marin General Hospital Conference Center (in the hospital’s West Wing) from 8:00 to 11:00 am. It includes a heart-healthy breakfast, and also will feature nutritional advice from a registered dietitian nutritionist. 

The event is free but registration is required and space is limited. To register, please call 1-888-996-9644.