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Women And Men Exhibit Different Heart Disease Symptoms: Why Did It Take So Long To Learn This? - Dr. Smolens

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Dr. Smolens explains why it has taken a long time for the medical community to realize that women present different heart disease symptoms than men. Dr. Iva Smolens is a Board Certified Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, Arizona.

Dr. Smolens:
It has taken a long time for the medical community to become aware of women’s heart disease and women’s heart symptoms for a variety of reasons. I think initially when people became acutely aware of heart disease, it was more predominant in men and now we have actually exceeded men in terms of the numbers of women with heart disease and so it’s actually more common cause of death in women than in men.

I think part of the reason is heart disease was initially looked at in the 70s and 80s, all of the studies involved men. The majority of them were out of the VA system with involving 70-80% men. So a lot of the data that we initially collected excluded women and so we really weren’t familiar with the symptoms in women, and I think many women back then probably did have heart disease, but it went missed.

Really, some of the stuff in women, the research has really just come about in this century. In the early 2000s was the first time any literature came out specific to women, regarding women’s heart disease and differences between men and women.

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

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