Nearly 90 percent of women with increased risk factors for heart disease didn’t recognize the signs, according to a new study that suggests many still think a heart attack is primarily a danger that faces men.
The study, led by Mount Sinai School of Medicine heart specialists, tracked 3,000 women who were screened in OB/GYN clinics for such risk factors as overweight and high cholesterol. Researchers found 42 percent of the women had symptoms of heart disease and 87 percent did not recognize them. In addition, more than half of the women were unaware their cholesterol and weight put them at risk.
"Our study indicates that heart disease screening in OB/GYN clinics can play a crucial role in heart disease prevention and earlier intervention” said lead researcher Dr. Roxana Mehran. "Many of the women we screened did not have primary care physicians and were unaware that they were having symptoms of heart disease."
The study was one of dozens presented by Mount Sinai researchers this week at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology in Chicago. Among the other research findings:
• Aggressive statin treatments -- 40 milligrams of Rosuvastatin daily -- reduce fat in blood vessels that can lead to blockages and heart attack, according to a study of 87 patients.
• Heart patients who don’t take anti-clotting medicine – usually aspirin and a blood thinner – are four times more likely to have additional heart problems than those who say on their meds, a study of 5,016 patients found.
• People with chronic kidney disease are at greater risk of developing blood clots, according to two new studies.
• The blood thinner bivalirudin significantly reduces the risk of complications in patients who undergo ballon angioplasty to open a narrowed heart valve.