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MEDIA RELEASE

CONTACT:
Cindy Ficorelli
Phone: (810) 606-6270
Fax: (810) 606-6279
caficorelli@genesys.org

02/17/2011

Genesys invited to participate in national women's heart disease pilot initiative

(GENESEE COUNTY, MI) Heart disease is the #1 killer of women age 20 and over.
One in three women has some form of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease kills about 433,000 women every year - almost one each minute.

About 64 percent of women who die suddenly from coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms.

Heart disease in women is highly under diagnosed and largely preventable.

That is why the Genesys Heart Institute has taken action to help decrease these numbers.

Genesys was invited to participate in a national, first of its kind, pilot designed to increase awareness of heart disease in women, and improve diagnosis and treatment in women with heart disease.

Nationally, about 3,000 OB/Gyn patients over the age of 40 will complete a health screening questionnaire to identify their risk factors for heart disease at an earlier age so they can begin to obtain preventive care.

Only 10 sites in the entire country have been chosen to participate in this pilot heart initiative. Genesys is one of the 10, and is the midwest's pilot site.

David Dobies, MD, interventional cardiologist; is working with Joseph Kingsbury, DO, OB/Gyn; to lead the initiative at Genesys.

"This pilot will provide invaluable information for diagnosis and treatment of women with heart disease," reports Kimberly Barber, PhD, director of the Genesys Office of Research, the arm of Genesys coordinating the heart health initiative with Abbott Vascular Research.

Through this groundbreaking pilot, researchers expect to:
  • identify the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in women
  • better understand the gaps in awareness of cardiovascular disease in women
  • explore gender disparities in diagnosis of cardiovascular disease
  • obtain clinical information about heart disease in women that previously was unknown
  • determine the novel definitions and risk factors regarding women and cardiovascular disease
  • better understand the role of the OB/Gyn in women's heart health

"Historically, about 75 percent of the information available on diagnosing heart disease is from studies in men," Dr. Barber adds. "Very few heart studies on women exist. "There truly is a gender gap in awareness. In addition, symptoms of heart disease can be very different in women, and it can be more difficult to diagnose heart disease in women," she adds. "That is why the information obtained from this national pilot is so invaluable to the future heart health of women," Dr. Barber points out.

Genesys has been named a heart Center of Excellence for 14 consecutive years by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

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