Women's Heart Disease Symptoms
"It's important for women to understand that heart disease is also a woman's disease," says Mary Ann McLaughlin, MD, Associate Professor of Cardiology and Director of the Women's Cardiac Assessment and Risk Evaluation (CARE) Program at Mount Sinai Heart. "The warning signs of heart attack in women can differ from the classic ones, and Mount Sinai cardiologists are well versed and very knowledgeable about the specific risks for women." As part of her mission to help women take heart disease seriously, Dr. McLaughlin gives talks at middle schools and nursing homes, country clubs and churches. She participates in health fairs, where she and her colleagues check blood pressure, measure body mass index, and offer cooking demonstrations. Dr. McLaughlin has been a regular on television shows such as "Martha" and is widely quoted in newspapers and magazines.
Detection and Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease
It's easy to recognize coronary artery disease after someone suffers a heart attack. It is more challenging to detect it in people who show no signs or symptoms of heart disease. "The whole paradigm is shifting away from targeting the person who is at the edge of the cliff, and toward identifying the patient well before he reaches that edge," says Jonathan L. Halperin, MD, Professor of Cardiology and Director of Clinical Cardiology Services at Mount Sinai Heart. "It's not only being able to identify the disease when it is there, but identifying it before it is threatening." Mount Sinai's cardiologists use hands-on methods to identify heart disease. Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, Professor of Cardiology and Director of Mount Sinai Heart, sometimes asks patients in his office to do a series of sit-ups, then listens to their hearts. Dr. Fuster's diagnostic skills, honed by decades of experience, enable him to tell just by hearing the heart's sounds after exertion whether blocked arteries have caused the vessel walls to stiffen. "For every patient, there is an appropriate test." says Annapoorna Kini, MD, Associate Professor of Cardiology and Associate Director of the Mount Sinai Cardiac Catheterization Lab. "If one test is not giving us the answer we're looking for, we always have another, whether it's an angiogram, ultrasound, or checking the pressure gradient in the arteries. We have everything we need."