Giving women the heartfelt facts

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NINE Canberra women, who have dedicated time to raising awareness of the facts of heart disease, have been given the Heart Foundation’s Women with Heart Awards.

ACT Heart Foundation CEO Tony Stubbs says, despite ongoing health campaigns, heart disease remains the number one killer of Australians and women are three times more likely to die of heart disease than they are of breast cancer.

ANU cardiovascular specialist Dr Walter Abhayaratna says women are physically and hormonally different than men and this creates a unique set of challenges in the treatment of heart disease. 

Dr Walter Abhayaratna.

“We know we need to acknowledge sex differences and draw from other areas of medicine to improve gaps in knowledge, which is what the Heart Foundation has set out to achieve, and thereby save more women’s lives,” Dr Abhayaratna says.

He says much of the current evidence is based on data on men, which is then extrapolated to women. This has complicated issues related to comorbidities, age, pregnancy and childbearing.

Last month the Heart Foundation brought together disciplines of cardiology, obstetrics, midwifery, general practice and research, looking at specific ways heart disease presents in women at the Women and Heart Disease Symposium.

The award winners are:

  • Emily Banks, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, ANU.
  • Melita Flynn, Community Engagement, Capital Chemists.
  • Denise Gibson, Heart Failure Clinic, Canberra Hospital.
  • Emma Grey, author.
  • Karen Hardy, journalist
  • Christine Lloyd, business owner.
  • Alison MacDougal, local citizen.
  • Anne Maroney, Active Living Program.
  • Maria Selleck, business owner.

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