Heart disease has sometimes been considered a men’s health issue, but the statistics prove otherwise. In the US alone, more than 42 million women live with the problem. Heart disease is responsible for more than one-third of deaths among American women each year, making it the number one killer of females older than 20. What’s more, the signs of heart attack in women differ from those in men, tending toward vomiting, throat discomfort, anxiety and a feeling of pressure in the chest as opposed to the crushing, right-side chest pain more often reported in men. Indeed, the physiology of heart disease differs between men and women in ways that scientists have only begun to understand.
Experts will present the latest research about these differences at the Physiology of Cardiovascular Disease: Gender Disparities conference, October 12–14, 2011 at the University of Mississippi in Jackson. The conference, sponsored by the American Physiological Society with additional support from the American Heart Association, will coincide with the grand opening of the Women’s Health Research Center at the university’s medical center. Presentations will cover gender differences in heart disease, vascular function, kidney disease and metabolism as well as provide insight on how perimenopause and menopause affect women’s heart health.