Despite national campaigns to increase awareness and reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in women, CVD remains their leading cause of death, annually killing more women than men. Although some progress has been made in our understanding and treatment of CVD in women, the causes, extent, and demographic trends of observed sex differences and disparities remain uncertain, and the growing burden of CVD and its risk factors among younger women is concerning. The Minnesota Women's Heart Summit was convened to chart a course to eliminate premature deaths of women from heart disease. The multidisciplinary summit was hosted by the Minneapolis Heart Institute, Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, University of Minnesota, and Mayo Clinic. Presentations highlighted sex-based differences in symptoms, treatment, and outcomes, and panel experts provided commentary. Invited faculty and summit participants worked in small-group sessions to identify strategies to dissolve barriers, improve primary and secondary prevention, and enhance women's care and outcomes. This report summarizes strategies identified during the conference to serve as springboards for more substantive future initiatives. These include, for example, standardized data collection and use of existing data sets to inform perspectives on sex-related cardiovascular issues, mandatory reporting of sex-specific data, and increased attention to underserved/high-risk women. Participants acknowledged that implementing these ideas would be challenging and recommended key priorities/next action steps such as providing services close to "point-of-life" rather than "point-of-care" and creation of policies and regulations so that resources and environmental modifications encouraging healthier lifestyle choices are promoted. Additional research is needed to improve identification, treatment, and health behaviors and to address continued lack of awareness, symptom recognition delays, barriers to care, and outcome disparities-especially in diverse populations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine