April 9, 2004

Symposium emphasizes women’s heart health

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Matt Hall

Symposium emphasizes women’s heart health

The No. 1 killer of women is heart disease and there is something women can do about it.

“The processes that cause heart disease and stroke start when a woman is young,” said Stacy Davis, M.D., director of the Vanderbilt Women’s Heart Center.

Davis will address the fifth annual Ann F. Eisenstein Women’s Cardiovascular Symposium on Monday, April 12 at the Cool Springs Marriott. The conference, set to kick off at 7:30 a.m. with an optional heart screening, will highlight various health topics concerning women and heart disease. A light breakfast will follow at 8 a.m. with the keynote address slated for 8:45 a.m.

“Learning the risk factors and signs of heart disease is a life-saving task. Becoming familiar with the processes that cause heart disease is important because many of the risk factors can be prevented or at least controlled,” Davis said. “Every woman needs to learn about her heart, the risk factors and the signs of cardiovascular disease.”

According to an American Heart Association poll of more than 1,000 women, only 8 percent of those surveyed believe that heart disease and stroke are the greatest health threats to women. Breast cancer continues to rank as the biggest medical fear among women.

“We need to do just as good of a job with heart disease recognition as cancer advocates have done with breast cancer awareness,” Davis said. “Women need to see that heart disease is a major health issue.”

Breakout sessions, set from 9:30-11 a.m., will include: “When your Heart goes Flutter” with Katherine T. Murray, M.D., associate professor of Medicine and Pharmacology; “Stress Management and the Hurried Woman” with Colin Armstrong, Ph.D., R.N., research assistant professor of Nursing; “MRI: Looking into the Heart” with Mark A. Lawson, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine, Radiology and Radiological Sciences and “Nutritainment Presents: Love your Heart” with Dianne Killebrew, registered dietitian and educational coordinator of the dietetic internship at Vanderbilt Medical Center.

Nutritainment will offer an interactive component to the conference. It will take a team of 20 people to run the 30- to 45- minute session.

“We want to be able to showcase nutrition in a way that is educational, but also is inspiring and entertaining,” Killebrew said. “We want to spend time with the audience on what they can do, not what they can’t do.”

Killebrew and her team will be able to provide conference-goers tangible cooking tips and heart-healthy recipes to assist in more nutritious menu planning.

“We really want people to hear it, see it, taste it, feel it and try it at home,” Killebrew said. “We want to appeal to all of their senses. It’s really a very simple message — in order to really take care of yourself it’s important to love your heart.”

For more information or reservations call 936-0322.