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JANUARY 31, 2006
  Candid Thoughts on Women and Heart Disease...from the Women of PENN Medicine

"Women need to stop caring for all the members of their families for a few minutes and start caring for themselves. They need to know their risk factors for heart disease and take steps to reduce future risk. Heart disease kills women five times more than any cancer in the U.S."
-- Mariell Jessup, MD
Medical Director, Heart Failure & Transplant Program
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

"I often talk to women who insist that their husbands get evaluated, but they don’t apply the same standards to themselves. Women delay going to hospital, when having a heart attack, more than three hours more than men do. Women need to get to the emergency room quickly so that they're symptoms can be evaluated promptly.

"If I could tell my female patients one thing, it would be to stop smoking! The only young women I’ve seen with heart attacks are smokers."
-- Susan Wiegers, MD
Director, Clinical Echocardiography Laboratory
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

"A recent survey showed that a majority of women can not identify risk factors for heart disease or steps they can take to reduce their own risks. And many do not know their cholesterol levels, and have never discussed heart disease with their doctors. This illustrates the enormous treatment gap that results in premature strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, and death. Both health care providers and patients need to close this gap with better education, awareness, and communication."
-- Laura Demopoulos, MD
Director, Women's Cardiovascular Health
Penn Medicine at Radnor

"Women don't realize how important heart disease is to their own health. There's a major disconnect between what women know about heart disease and what they actually do to prevent it. They don't pay attention to their symptoms or take preventive measures. Why aren't women talking about heart disease with their primary physicians? They are talking about breast cancer.

"Women are starting to understand that heart disease is important but they still aren't connecting it to themselves and taking the steps to prevent it. Think about your risk factors and take care of them before you end up in a cardiologist's office."
-- Ruchira Glaser, MD
Interventional Cardiologist
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

If you want to turn a story with a unique perspective during February Heart Month -- thoughts on women & heart disease from a female cardiologist -- we're ready to talk to you.

Contact Susanne Hartman at (215) 349-5964 to schedule an interview with any of these doctors, as well as:

  • Susan Brozena, MD; Associate Director, Heart Failure & Transplant Program; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Kelly Spratt, MD; Cardiologist; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
  • Andrea Russo, MD; Director, Electrophysiology Laboratory; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center


PENN Medicine is a $2.7 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn’s School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #4 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System comprises: its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, consistently rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home health care and hospice.



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