Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the U.S. Almost one-third of all women in this country will die of a heart attack, stroke, or other problem related to their heart.
In many ways, heart disease is much more deadly for women than for men. Women are much more likely than men to die within the first year after having had a heart attack, twice as likely to have another heart attack within the next six years, and almost twice as likely as men to die after having heart bypass surgery.
Yet many women are unaware of this threat to their health and their lives. They may not know that the symptoms of a heart attack in women are very different than the "classic" heart attack symptoms men have. And although women's knowledge about the threat of heart disease is increasing, in a recent survey, less than one-third of women thought they were personally at risk for heart disease.
The Center for Women's Health at Columbia is a unique program focusing on heart-health care for women. Founded and led by renowned cardiologist and cardiovascular scientist, Elsa-Grace Giardina, M.D., Professor of Clinical Medicine, who is regularly included among New York magazine's Top Doctors in Cardiology, the Center offers comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for women of all ages.
Although improving the treatment, education and awareness of women with heart disease is our primary focus, the Center's expert medical staff cares for the whole patient. Instead of the fragmented care that many women receive, at the Center, women are cared for by a team of doctors, nurses, and other professionals with a wide range of expertise in the many fields that affect women's health: cardiology, endocrinology, gynecology, and much more.
The Center also leads some of the most important scientific studies investigating heart disease and other critical health issues for women. Women make up only 25% of participants in heart-related research studies, but the Center is working to change that.
The Center and Dr. Giardina have received statewide and national recognition, including the "Award of Excellence" from New York State Governor George Pataki, as well as profiles in the New York Times supplement on women's health and HEALTH magazine.