Women's Heart Health

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For International Women’s Day 2016, the theme was Pledge for Parity. When it comes to recognizing and treating heart health issues, there is clearly a need to bring women’s care up to par.
This month, the European Society of Cardiology showed that women who had a cardiac arrest in public were less likely to receive life-saving support from bystanders than men in the same situation. In fact, women were more likely to experience cardiac arrest in the presence of bystanders, but still received help less often than men.
But it’s not just the general public – the Globe and Mail tells this tale of a woman who went to the ER with symptoms of a heart attack but was diagnosed as having acid reflux and sent home. And former Olympic figure skater Isabelle Brasseur suffers from vasodepressor syncope, but lived for 20 years with an incorrect diagnosis of epilepsy before doctors recognized and properly treated her heart condition.
There is still a widely-held and false assumption that ‘women don’t get coronary artery disease’ and it is adversely affecting the quality of care that women receive.
Luckily, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute is tackling these issues head-on at the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Summit 2016. One of the specific objectives of the summit is to delineate strategies for changing the misperception of cardiovascular disease in women. Experts from across North America will lead discussions to identify and propose strategies for dealing with the challenges involving heart disease and women across Canada.
We will follow the summit closely, and we look forward to sharing the results of the discussions with the arrhythmia community.

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