Ob/gyns should screen for CVD, cardiologists advise

June 1, 2012

According to a study presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, many women are unaware of their risk for cardiovascular disease (CV), but a screening tool completed during their annual ob/gyn examination could change that.

According to a study presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions ([SCAI]; May 9-12; Las Vegas, Nevada), many women are unaware of their risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD)-but a screening tool completed by women during their annual ob/gyn examination could change that. Ob/gyns serve as primary care providers for 20% of women.

The tool is the product of a joint initiative between SCAI's Women in Innovations program and the Abbott Vascular Women's Heart Health Initiative, launched in 2010 to improve awareness and prevention of CVD in women by involving gynecologists in screening and distributing educational materials about CVD.

During their ob/gyn appointment, women complete a 1-page survey about CVD risk factors-diabetes, blood pressure, smoking, family history of heart disease, high cholesterol, shortness of breath, chest pain, and pregnancy-related complications: preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and gestational hypertension. Those who have more than 2 risk factors are sent a letter advising them to follow up with their physician.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States, and mortality from CVD is increasing by 1% per year among women between the ages of 35 to 40.

Mungee S, et al. Women's Heart Health Initiative: collaborative effort is the key. Presented at: 2012 Annual Meeting of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI); May 9-12, 2012; Las Vegas, Nevada.