Cardiovascular Disease Not a Top Concern For Women or Their Physicians Interview with:

C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, FACC  Director, Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center Director, Linda Joy Pollin Women's Heart Health Program Director, Erika Glazer Family Foundation Women's Heart Disease Initiative Director, Preventive Cardiac Center  Professor of Medicine  Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Dr. Merz

C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, FACC 
Director, Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center
Director, Linda Joy Pollin Women’s Heart Health Program
Director, Erika Glazer Family Foundation Women’s Heart Disease Initiative
Director, Preventive Cardiac Center
Professor of Medicine
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center What is the background for this study?

Response: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number 1 killer of women in the U.S.A., yet few younger women personalize awareness. CVD campaigns focus little attention on physicians and their role assessing risk. What are the main findings?

Response: Overall, 45% of women were unaware that CVD is the #1 killer of women, only 11% knew a woman who has died from it.  Overall, 45% of women reported it is common to cancel or postpone a physician appointment until losing weight. Cardiovascular disease was a top concern for only 39% of PCPs, after weight and breast health. A minority of physicians (22% of PCPs and 42% of cardiologists) felt well prepared to assess women’s CVD risk, and infrequently use guidelines. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Cardiovascular disease  in women was not the top concern for women or physicians. Social stigma particularly regarding body weight appears to be a barrier. Physicians reported limited training and use of guideline assessment, while a majority supported a campaign and improved physician education. Campaigns should make CVD “real” to U.S. women, countering stereotypes with facts and validated assessments. Both community women and physicians endorsed investment in women’s CVD research and physician education. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Studies designed to address the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs listed in our surveys that identified barriers and opportunities to try to improve women’s CVD health.

Disclosures: Listed in the publication Thank you for your contribution to the community.


C. Noel Bairey Merz, Holly Andersen, Emily Sprague, Adam Burns, MarkKeida, Mary Norine Walsh, Phyllis Greenberger, Susan Campbell, IrenePollin, Cassandra McCullough, Nancy Brown, Marjorie Jenkins, RitaRedberg, Paula Johnson, British Robinson

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.




Last Updated on June 27, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD