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WIB-Chicago Celebrates Heart Month with "Why The Culture Of A Woman's Heart Matters," February 6, 2017

WIB-Chicago hosted a "Why the Culture of a Woman's Heart Matters" event on February 6, 2017, in connection with American Heart Month. The program included a discussion led by a panel of experts from the Rush Heart Center for Women, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. The panel of female cardiologists addressed several important issues, including how heart disease differs between women and men. Event attendees had the opportunity to ask questions which led to a rich discussion.

During the program, Dr. Rupa Sanghani, M.D., described common symptoms in women and how atherosclerosis is often different in women. Both Dr. Sanghani and Dr. Tochi Okwuosa, D.O., discussed differences in risk factors between men and women and the impact of race and ethnicity. For example, women who have pregnancy-related complications (gestational diabetes, hypertension, pre-eclampsia) are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure is more prevalent in African Americans, which may originate from natural history and dietary patterns. Dr. Okwuosa also described her specialty of cardio-oncology and the impact of cancer treatment on heart health.

Drs. Melissa Tracy, M.D.; Ewa Dembowski, M.D.; and Sonal Chandra, M.D., focused on the prevention of cardiovascular disease through regular exercise, healthy diet, and stress management. Marie-France Poulin, M.D., an interventional cardiologist, discussed treatment of structural heart disease, such as heart valve problems, with new devices that avoid open heart surgery.

WIB Chicago 2 6 2017 Event Photo 1

Event panelists field audience questions: (left to right) Marie-France Poulin, MD; Ewa Dembowski, MD; Melissa Tracy, MD; Panel Moderator Lynne Braun, Ph.D.; WIB-Chicago Chapter Chair, Dima Elissa, M.B.A.; Rupa Sanghani, MD; Tochi Okwuosa, DO; and Sonal Chandra, M.D.

The discussion also touched upon menopause symptoms and current data on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), how heart health affects cognition and brain health, the significance of family history and novel risk factors, and options for mindfulness and meditation for stress management.

WIB-Chicago thanks MATTER for hosting the program, and our sponsors Ullo and Neiman Marcus for their contributions.

-Submitted by Lynne Braun, Ph.D.