Dr. Volgman introduces herself and explains how women are discriminated against when treated for heart attacks.
I am Dr. Annabelle Volgman. I am an Associate Professor here at Rush University Medical Center. I am the Medical Director of the Rush Heart Center for Women which started five years ago, and I specialize in electrophysiology or arrhythmias of the heart, but I now also specialize in women and heart disease.
A lot of people think that when it comes to heart attacks, they are all the same, that women and men would be treated equally. Well, there was a study that was just published December 2008. It was a study from 2001 to 2006 that showed clearly that women were still being discriminated against. The mortality, men and women dying from the heart attacks, it was double the risk in women.
So the mortality in women was 10%. Mortality of heart attacks has been less than 6% for decades in men. And for women it is still 10%, and in men it is now 5.5%. That’s incredible. In the last 30 years that’s gone down from 30% to 5.5% in men.
And now in women, it is still 10%, and across the board the women, it took longer to give them aspirin, it took longer to give them beta blockers, it took longer to take them to the cath lab, and every single thing that they were looking at, the women were being discriminated against.
And I am tired of this, and this is why we built the heart center for women. Women are not being treated equally as men. If this happened to men, do you know how much of an uproar there would be? This would stop immediately, but because it is happening to women, it is just going on and on, and nobody seems to be doing much about it. But I want to do something about it, and thank you for doing this so that we can reach out to women so that we don’t put up with this.
About Dr. Volgman, M.D., F.A.C.C.:
Annabelle S. Volgman is associate professor of medicine and medical director of the Heart Center for Women at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Volgman graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University, and received her medical doctorate degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York. She received her internal medicine training at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics and her cardiology fellowship training at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. She was a fellow in clinical electrophysiology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Illinois Masonic Medical Center under Richard Kehoe, M.D.
Dr. Volgman has published numerous abstracts and articles in multiple topics of women and heart disease as well as cardiac electrophysiology. She is currently president of the Metro Chicago Board of Directors of the AHA. She has been a prominent leader of the Go Red for Women movement and has received numerous awards from the American Heart Association. She has been listed in several lists of top doctors and was named a top doctor in the January 2008 issue of “Chicago Magazine.” She has been interviewed by numerous media about health issues and was featured in “O” magazine as Oprah Winfrey’s cardiologist.
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