Heart association offering education, screenings for cardiovascular disease

The American Heart Association estimates  44 million women in the U.S. are affected by some sort of cardiovascular disease, the number one killer of women.
In conjunction with the National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute will  host a free education and health screening at the institute next to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital from 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, because Feburary is Women Love Your Heart Month.
Dr. Partho Sengupta, chief of cardiology at WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, was previously involved in community outreach for heart health, but this time around, he said the focus is on education on women’s heart disease and new initiatives being launched.
The screenings will use the new technology of a 12-lead ECG as opposed to the single-lead ECG used in past public screenings.
“This 12-lead ECG comes as a device, which is also a mobile device, so it’s a new innovation. It basically straps onto the chest and takes the full electrical activity of the heart,” he said.
The public can also receive full lipid screens, blood pressure screenings, and cholesterol and glucose tests.
The focus on women’s hearts is different because women’s hearts and their problems are a little different from men’s, Sengupta said.
“Nearly two-thirds of the women will have no symptoms before they have a heart attack or a stroke, so it’s a very different presentation in women,” he said.
Sengupta said it is a myth that men mostly suffer from heart disease. He hopes to spread the awareness that symptoms are different in women. Though the focus is on women’s health, the screenings are open to men, too.
Sengupta said risk factors for heart disease can be exclusive to certain genders, certain races and certain outside risk factors that can contribute to being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.
“If you have the underlying risk factors that you’re obese, that you have dyslipidemia (elevation of cholesterol), and smoking is very prevalent in the community among women. It does give rise to much higher risks for heart disease,” he said.
Something new being seen by doctors is  called “broken heart syndrome” that is caused by stress, Sengupta said. He said it is seen more often in females.
“We certainly don’t want this to happen. This is all preventable,” he said.
New technologies used in previous screenings were well-received, Sengupta said.
“They really loved the streamlining of the tests, and I think it went very well, so I think we are encouraged by all that reception, and we are hoping we continue to
do such community events,” he said.
Sengupta said the Heart and Vascular Institute is welcoming two female cardiologists to the team this year, Dr. Yasmin Hamirani and Dr. Madhavi Kadiyala, who will be the director of the women’s heart program.
“Dr. Kadiyala is going to be present at the event to answer the questions, and she will also be helping with the education,” he said.
Pre-registration is closed, but walk-ins are welcome.

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