Women run greater risk of not having their heart disease diagnosed, because their symptoms may be more subtle than those commonly seen in men and their underlying disease is therefore not as easy to detect.
This is one of the insights that Janet V. Hays, M.D., associate professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at the Health Science Center, will share next week during a talk geared to the public.
Dr. Hays is one of the scheduled speakers for the 2005 Mini-Medical School that will continue May 9, 16 and 23 at the Health Science Center. The public is encouraged to attend these free educational series of events, which are a special gift to the community from the Health Science Center. The Mini-Medical School is supported in part by an educational grant from Pfizer Inc.
Dr. Hays is one of the speakers for the May 9 session. She says that while chest pain, shortness of breath and pain radiating down the left arm are classic symptoms of heart disease in men, women may have other symptoms such as a vague feeling of malaise and undefined jaw pain. “Research of heart disease historically has not focused on women but has been viewed as a disease of middle-age and older men because of sudden onset of symptoms in these men,” Dr. Hays says. “Women may suffer in silence for longer periods of time with severe disease.”
Dr. Hays will discuss signs of heart disease in women and treatments.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in American women. According to the Heart Truth Campaign of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 356,000 U.S. women died of heart disease in 2002 – more than stroke, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and breast cancer combined.
Women’s health is the theme for the four Monday sessions of the Mini-Medical School. Women and diabetes was the second topic on the opening night, May 2. Subsequent weeks will cover obesity, heart disease, adolescent health, cancer and infertility. The dynamic series will conclude with description of an exciting new National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health/Pregnancy at the Health Science Center.
Each Monday session starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m.
The Health Science Center will offer the program via video teleconference to various remote sites in South Texas, including the university’s Laredo Extension Campus and its Medical Education Division building of the Regional Academic Health Center in Harlingen.
Advance registration is requested. Please call (210) 567-4445. A brochure is available online atwww.uthscsa.edu/ogm/forms/minimedbroch2.pdf.