Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading killer of women in North America, and an important cause of premature death in Canadian women, taking 25,000 lives per year. Historically, the majority of cardiovascular research, awareness education, diagnostic testing and interventions have focused on men. Research also points to the fact that health care professionals do not have a clear understanding of women’s cardiovascular health and their risk factors for heart disease. Despite the fact that CVD kills more women than any other diagnosis, there are disparities in care in virtually all cardiovascular conditions, including ischemic heart disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease, and aortic disease. Women with CVD are under-enrolled in clinical trials, and under-investigated, under-diagnosed, and under-treated in clinical settings. The Canadian Women’s Heart Health Alliance, a volunteer organization of professionals and patients, addresses sex-unique disparities in care through multiple working groups focused on awareness of sex and gender cardiovascular issues in training and education, knowledge translation and mobilization, health systems and policy, and advocacy.
The workshop will take panel format with a multidisciplinary team of experts in women’s heart health. At the end of this workshop participants will be able to (1) articulate the role of the Canadian Heart Alliance and its mission (2) understand the risk factors and disparate outcomes experienced by women with heart disease and (3) diagnose and manage SCAD in women. The discussion will begin with an overview of women’s heart health and The Canadian Women’s Heart Alliance. Participants will be invited to engage in an interactive case study on SCAD diagnosis and management using a “virtual” patient experience. Future directions in women’s heart health will be highlighted. The workshop will end with a brief “wrap-up” with key messages and an opportunity to engage in discussion with the panel. A social media representative will live-tweet the content of the presentations and discussions and engage virtual attendees in discussion using the hashtag #HerHeartMatters. Participants will be asked to evaluate the panel using a standard questionnaire that identifies the extent to which the learning objectives were met, effectiveness of panel presenters, and relevance of material to the learner.