Dr. Smolens describes the latest research surrounding heart disease and women. Dr. Iva Smolen is a Board Certified Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, Arizona.
I think there are a variety of things that are really specific to women’s research as opposed to men’s. In particular, I think really, the first step is we have to educate everybody on the differences, has nothing to do with latest and greatest research. It really has to do with just differences in presentation, and women present differently than men and so we have to educate people on that. Just like we talked about, some of the different symptoms in terms of their chest pressure or chest pain, nausea, vomiting.
Second, we need to talk to women and educate them about differences in ways of diagnosis. Really it has become apparent in the last few years that the classic treadmill stress test for women is not as accurate as it is in men. It’s almost like a coin toss. So women need different stress-testing modalities to even diagnose the heart disease. That’s one of the focuses of more recent research.
In addition, treatment modalities, the classic treatment techniques for men—angioplasty, stent, bypass surgery--have worse results in women and that’s becoming apparent now, and we need to focus on some of the different treatment modalities.
One of the more recent things in the literature is that women tend to do better with off-pump open heart bypass surgery as opposed to the classic using the heart-lung machine and that’s an area of interest and I think an area of investigation currently in many centers.
About Dr. Smolens, M.D.:
Board Certified Cardiothoracic Surgeon Iva Smolens, M.D., serves as medical director of the Women's Heart Center at Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, Arizona. She currently serves on the American Heart Association’s Board of Directors for the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Condition: Heart Attack, Heart Palpitation, Heart Disease
Related Terms: Chest Pain, Stress Test, High Blood Pressure, HDL, LDL, Body Mass Index, Cardiovascular Exercise, Angiography, Stent, Heart Bypass Surgery, Open Heart Surgery, Vascular Disease, EKG
Expert: Dr. Iva Smolens, Iva Smolens, M.D., Doctor Iva Smolens, Cardiologist Iva Smolens
Expertise: Cardiology, Heart Specialist, Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Disease, Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Attack, Heart Palpitation