March 8, 2019

Women more likely to dismiss potential signs of heart disease, be misdiagnosed

By Kelley Luckstein

Orlando Sentinel

By Naseem S. Miller

Orlando high school science teacher Gloria Boisvert was at work when she felt an incredible tightness in her chest. “I felt like I couldn’t breathe,” she recalled recently, almost 11 years later. She waited a week before going to her primary care doctor, who said it was only an anxiety attack. But as she was about to walk out of the exam room, an astute nurse practitioner saved her life by asking a simple question: did she have a family history of heart disease? The answer was yes… Women, in general, tend to develop heart disease later than men, a phenomenon that’s linked to the protective actions of the hormone estrogen, said Dr. DeLisa Fairweather, director of translational research for the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. “As soon as women go past menopause, this changes,” said Fairweather.

Reach: The Orlando Sentinel has a daily circulation of more than 162,000. The newspaper serves central Florida. Its website has more than 1.1 million unique visitors each month.

Context:  DeLisa Fairweather, Ph.D., is director of translational research for the Department of Cardiovascular Diseases at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus. Dr. Fairweather's Translational Cardiovascular Disease Research Laboratory conducts translational research focused on finding individualized therapies and improved diagnosis for chronic inflammatory diseases.  You can learn more about Dr. Fairweather’s research here.

Contact: Cynthia Weiss

Tags: Dr. DeLisa Fairweather, heart disease, Orlando Sentinel, Uncategorized

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