Public Release: 

Mayo Clinic hosting national conference to help women fight their #1 killer

Symposium brings diverse women heart patients from 28 states for advocacy training

Mayo Clinic

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- The Mayo Clinic Women's Heart Clinic is hosting a conference from Oct. 12-16 that will gather 60 women with heart disease for five days of education and training to help them be patient advocates in their communities.

The Science and Leadership Symposium for Women Heart Patients is cosponsored by WomenHeart, the National Coalition for Women and Heart Disease. WomenHeart is the nation's only patient advocacy organization founded by women heart patients and represents the concerns of the 8 million American women living with heart disease.

"Most women are far more worried about breast cancer than they are about heart disease, even though they are much more likely to die from heart disease than any other cause," says Sharonne Hayes, M.D., Director of Mayo Clinic Women's Heart Clinic. "Nearly one-half of American women will die of heart disease, but still many people -- including many physicians -- think of heart disease as a man's disease. Because of this misperception, and because women's heart-disease symptoms may be different from a man's, many women don't get the care they need as soon as they should. This symposium will help train these women to become effective educators and advocates in their communities."

The symposium participants come from 28 states across the country, and nearly one-third are women of color. The participants will receive information and skills needed to educate other women in their home communities about heart disease. They were chosen from more than 120 heart-disease patients who had submitted in-depth applications and letters of recommendation.

The women will hear presentations on the science of heart disease, participate in discussions and receive advocacy training. The goal is to promote early detection, accurate diagnosis and proper treatment for women with heart disease.

Dr. Hayes is the Chair of WomenHeart's Scientific Advisory Board and will lead the conference. The text for the scientific sessions will be the Mayo Clinic Heart Book.

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Note: Dr. Hayes, WomenHeart President Nancy Loving and several patients are available for satellite or telephone interviews. Please contact Lee Aase at 507-266-2442 to schedule an interview.

Additional contact information:
Lee Aase
507-284-5005 (days)
507-284-2511 (evenings)
e-mail: newsbureau@mayo.edu

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