Heart disease is different in many ways for women than it is for men. These differences can impact diagnosis, treatment and prevention for a variety of cardiovascular conditions, including heart attack. But this reality is under-recognized.
In April, regional, national and international experts and stakeholders will gather in Ottawa for the first-ever Canadian Women’s Heart Health Summit. Together they will chart a path forward for an issue that has not received the attention it deserves.
“It’s about time,” said Summit Co-Chair Thais Coutinho, MD, a cardiologist at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, when asked why the Summit is happening now. “Inequalities and knowledge gaps in the field of women’s cardiovascular health are issues that we’ve been learning more about for the past couple of decades. There are lots of areas for action to improve women’s cardiovascular health.”
The Summit, organized by the Heart Institute’s Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre in partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, will be held April 14-15, 2016. The event will focus on clinical care, awareness, research, policy and networking.
Educational sessions will address all areas of women’s heart health, from awareness and prevention to treatment and sex-specific factors, while researchers will present findings in many different areas, from biomedical to epidemiological, clinical and population health.
Perhaps most importantly, the Summit will create a venue to forge links and establish networks across the country through which women’s heart health can be advanced.
That goal will drive a smaller group session the day after the Summit. Invited experts and stakeholders will discuss the main themes that emerge from the Summit and develop action items in different areas, including policy needs and gaps in knowledge and care. These will form the building blocks of what will hopefully become a national strategy on women’s heart health.
“Lots of other countries have developed these strategies,” said Dr. Coutinho. Now, it’s time for Canada to join their number and make a positive impact in women’s cardiovascular health.
2016 Canadian Women’s Heart Health Advocacy Award
Call for Nominations
The 2016 Canadian Women’s Heart Health Advocacy Award recognizes the contributions of an individual or group working to improve the heart health of women through advocacy, awareness, and support. It will recognize outstanding commitment in mobilizing women and health professionals to take heart health seriously and to take action to reduce women’s risk of heart disease.
Nomination deadline is March 25, 2016. Visit the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Summit Awards page for details.