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W OM EN’S H EA LTH New Program Helps Women Recognize, Manage Heart Disease Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States, yet it remains understudied, undertreated and undermanaged in women, UCLA experts say. The newly established UCLA Women’s Cardiovascular Center aims to reverse that trend through research, clinical care and education for women with or at risk for heart disease. “The lack of information about heart disease that is tailored specifically for women is shocking,” says cardiologist Karol Watson, MD, director of the center. That is a significant problem because certain heart- disease risk factors, such as stress, anxiety, depression, diabetes and obesity, affect women more than men. The symptoms of heart disease may also go undiagnosed in women, Dr. Watson explains. “Women are more likely than men to experience a specific type of heart pain related to microvascular dysfunction that is not easily detected by standard tests,” she says. But there is also good news for women. “Healthy lifestyle habits seem to be more beneficial to women than men. Exercise is good for everyone, but great for women.” • Arrhythmias • Complex coronary artery disease • Heart disease in pregnancy • Heart failure • Hypercholesterolemia or Hyperlipidemia The UCLA Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Health Program, endowed by the Streisand Foundation, is a key component of the UCLA Women’s Cardiovascular Center. The program provides community outreach and education to empower women to pursue better cardiovascular health. Community events include lectures and cooking demonstrations to help women understand the risk of heart disease and achieve a healthier lifestyle. • Hypertension • Rheumatic heart disease • Valvular heart disease • Vascular disease The UCLA Women’s Cardiovascular Center offers comprehensive cardiovascular healthcare services in a single location. Services include cardiovascular health assessments, prevention and counseling; cardiac diagnostic, management, treatment and rehabilitation services; and a women’s heart disease support group. The focus is to integrate the most recent advances in cardiovascular research and medicine, with a specific focus on women. Karol Watson, MD LAW Services UCLA Women’s Heart Center 100 UCLA Medical Plaza, Suite 630 Los Angeles, CA 90095 100 Moody Court Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 Appointments and referrals: (310) 825-9011 heart.ucla.edu/womenshearthealth For more information about the UCLA Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Health Program, go to: heart.ucla.edu/ barbrastreisandhearthealth Vital Signs Winter 2015 Vol. 65 3