Dr. Volgman explains if it is a myth that only men are diagnosed with heart disease.
It’s absolutely a myth. As I said before, since 1984, there are more women dying of heart disease than men, so that is so untrue. What is not being understood is that when you look at a man with the same risk factors as a woman, until a woman goes through menopause, the man’s risk is a little bit higher than a woman, but that female advantage is negated when she has diabetes or she is a cigarette smoker.
So if you are a cigarette smoker and/or you have diabetes, you have no advantage over a man when it comes to heart disease. So it is a myth, and unfortunately, the doctors who are being trained are still being taught that women are not at high risk for heart disease, and nothing could be further from the truth. We have got to change the medical books, the teaching at medical schools, that it is a man’s disease. And we are doing as much as we can here at Rush, but I think it has to be a national movement that doctors be taught.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of doctors and cardiologists out there who have board certified a long time ago, and they are not keeping up with the knowledge that heart disease is a really big risk factor for, a big risk for women. And they are not renewing their certification, so they are still going by their old knowledge because they are grandfathered in, not to have to take these tests. And those are actually the doctors that need to be taking these tests because they can’t go by their old knowledge. They have to be constantly renewing their knowledge.
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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