The Centre will address the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease in women.
Heart disease kills more women worldwide than all cancers, tuberculosis, AIDS and malaria combined. Officially launched this November, the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre seeks to improve care, raise awareness and deepen knowledge of heart disease in women. Research will specifically target women and draw on the expertise of world-renowned experts.
“The landscape of women and heart disease has evolved greatly over the years, but efforts still need to be made in addressing the lack of public and professional awareness of women’s coronary risk,” said Dr. Michele Turek, medical advisor for the Canadian Women Heart Health Centre. “We must address this important challenge and correct misperceptions concerning the incidence, prevalence, and significance of cardiovascular disease.”
Much of what we know about the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease is based on research in men. But women experience it differently in many ways. These differences are important as they can affect how heart disease presents itself, how rapidly it’s diagnosed and the way it is treated. It also affects survival rates as women are 50 per cent more likely than men to die within the year following a heart attack.
The Centre will partner with healthcare providers and primary care practitioners across Canada to offer practical programs including:
- CardioPrevent®, a screening and counselling program, is designed to reach people who do not yet have cardiovascular disease but are at higher risk due to genetic or lifestyle factors. The program is offered to those individuals and their families.
- The Virtual Care Program, an online cardiovascular health management system, will provide strategies and resources for the control and management of heart disease risk factors for women at risk and women with established heart disease.
- The Women@Heart Program, a peer support program for women with heart disease, led by women who have successfully recovered, will offer a caring environment for women to learn from each other and provide them with access to emotional and educational support.
- Finally, the Post-Pregnancy Risk Program will offer a unique opportunity to identify new mothers who are at increased risk for future cardiovascular disease as a result of preeclampsia during their pregnancy.