OB/GYNs Encouraged to Screen for Heart Health

Bon_Secours_Women's_Health_Oncology_Cardiac_Care_OB/GYN_childbirthExperts at the American College of Cardiology say that a simple cardiovascular assessment at an OB/GYNs office may improve women’s heart health by boosting the prevention of heart disease and providing critical education to at-risk women.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the US, but many are not aware of screening needs or risk factors. Instead of asking women to visit a primary care physician for information, some professionals have suggested that OB/GYNs may detect cardiovascular risk and head off heart problems for women who do not see a primary care physician.

While breast cancer screenings tend to get a lot of media hype, cardiovascular health is often overlooked by women who are unaware of their personal risk.

A recent pilot program was implemented in OB/GYN clinics at 10 U.S. medical centers to screen 2,234 women, with a mean age of 53, for cardiovascular risk or disease in OB/GYN clinics. Patients completed a short survey about heart disease risk factors, including family history and health symptoms, which was then reviewed by researchers. The study found that more than two thirds of the women screened demonstrated cardiovascular risk factors. Approximately 20% of the patients had never had a blood pressure screening, and almost 40% didn’t know their cholesterol levels.

After screening, a quarter of the women were referred either to a primary care physician, a cardiologist or endocrinologist for further evaluation and treatment.

Source: Msnbc.com “Gynecologists urged to screen for heart disease”

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