Dr. Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC, ABIHM, is board certified in cardiovascular disease, internal medicine, nuclear medicine, and holistic medicine. Dr. Guarneri is president of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine and serves as Senior Advisor to the Atlantic Health System for the Center for Well Being and Integrative Medicine. Dr. Guarneri is founder and director of Guarneri Integrative Health, Inc. and Taylor Academy for Integrative Medicine Education and Research located at Pacific Pearl La Jolla in La Jolla, CA.
Dr. Erica Oberg, ND, MPH, received a BA in anthropology from the University of Colorado, her doctorate of naturopathic medicine (ND) from Bastyr University, and a masters of public health (MPH) in health services research from the University of Washington. She completed her residency at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health in ambulatory primary care and fellowship training at the Health Promotion Research Center at the University of Washington.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
An estimated 90% of women have at least one risk factor for heart disease.
Heart attack symptoms can be different for women than for men.
Younger women with heart disease are more likely to die than men of the same age with heart disease. It is especially important for women and their doctors to be aware of early risk detection for primary prevention.
Despite being the #1 killer, only 13% of women surveyed by the American Heart Association (AHA) thought heart disease was their biggest health risk. Awareness may be a barrier to timely assessment and treatment.
Only 6% of Fellows of the American College of Cardiology (FACC cardiologists) are women.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) can be prevented and reversed with lifestyle changes.
What is cardiovascular disease (CVD)?
Cardiovascular disease includes a large number of unique conditions that can affect not only the heart but also the blood vessels throughout the body including those in the brain (stroke) and extremities (peripheral artery disease). Within the heart, disease can affect the physical structure including the valves (for example, congenital mitral valve prolapse or rheumatic heart disease caused by strep infections) or the muscle wall (for example, cardiomyopathy or congestive heart failure). Cardiovascular disease also includes conditions of vascular function (for example, endothelial dysfunction, angina, or hypertension), inflammation (for example, endo- or myocarditis), or the electrical regulation of the heartbeat (for example, arrhythmia or atrial fibrillation).
In 2004, for the first time, female-specific guidelines were developed by the American Heart Association (AHA) in recognition of the gender differences in both the mechanisms and presentation of cardiovascular disease. In 2011, the guidelines were updated and, also for the first time, the AHA discussed the characteristics of "ideal cardiovascular health." Ideal cardiovascular health includes:
absence of clinical CVD
ideal levels of total cholesterol (<200 mg/dL)
ideal fasting blood glucose (<100 mg/dL)
lean body mass index (<25 kg/m2)
abstinence from smoking
regular physical activity at recommended levels
consumption of a healthy eating pattern such as a plant-based Mediterranean diet