LIVINGSTON—Heart disease is the number one killer in America. One in four American women dies from the disease, and yet many are still unaware of their personal risk factors.
Saint Barnabas Medical Center and the Saint Barnabas Ambulatory Care Center, both in Livingston, have launched a free Women’s Cardiac Risk Assessment program that brings this important health screening to women in settings where they can easily access it. Experienced advanced practice nurses with the Women’s Risk Assessment Program will host an important educational session designed for women who are interested in learning about the prevention and symptoms of heart disease.
The Women’s Health Series session, Tell a Friend about Women and Heart Disease, will be held on Thursday, Sept. 24, in Auditorium A&B at Saint Barnabas Ambulatory Care Center, 200 South Orange Avenue, Livingston. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m.
In addition to attending the Women’s Health Series, women of all ages are encouraged to make an appointment with a cardiac nurse practitioner for a free personal consultation that includes education about heart disease and an assessment of their risk. A 19-question assessment developed specifically for women by researchers at Stanford University, along with blood pressure, weight, symptoms, lifestyle, diet and other factors, are combined to determine individual risk. Depending on the results of this consultation, women may be referred to an internist or cardiologist for treatment of the silent but serious symptoms of heart disease such as high cholesterol and blood pressure.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the presence of even a single risk factor at 50 years of age is associated with substantially increased lifetime risk of heart disease and premature death. “It is very important that health care providers evaluate a woman’s heart health across her lifespan, from adolescence through menopause,” said Gary J. Rogal, MD, Chief of Cardiology for the Saint Barnabas Health Care System.
The program also partners cardiologists with other disciplines such as Ob/Gyn, radiology and oncology to promote risk assessment when women are receiving other annual health screenings such as Pap smears and mammograms. “The goal is to bring a quick, yet highly effective, cardiac evaluation to women in the same places they are taking care of their other health issues,” stressed Janie Baranyay, APN, Quality Cardiac Coordinator at Saint Barnabas Medical Center. “Together we can put women on the path to prevention,” added Dr. Rogal.
In addition to education, screening, testing and referral, the program includes scheduled follow-up that tracks results of this initiative and will provide valuable data for ongoing research in the prevention of heart disease.
To schedule their free individual cardiac risk assessment and consultation, women can call 1-973-322-5900.
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