The Miriam Hospital Gala & Auction

Supporting The Women’s Cardiovascular Program at The Miriam

This year’s auctions and fund-a-need proceeds will help bring groundbreaking and lifesaving technology to the Women’s Cardiovascular Program at The Miriam, making it the only program in Rhode Island to use innovative diagnostic imaging to detect coronary artery abnormalities unique to women.

For generations, heart disease has been seen as “a man’s disease.” In reality, it kills more women annually than any cancer in the United States, and in Rhode Island.

Often referred to as cardiovascular disease, this silent but deadly killer is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths among women ages 20 and older. Your support of The Miriam Gala & Auction fund-a-need, will help the Women’s Cardiovascular Program at The Miriam Hospital expand its programing and diagnostic imaging capabilities, making it one of the first in the nation to use new technologies to detect cardiac abnormalities unique to women. With the right tests, we can promptly make the right diagnosis, and provide the right treatment – and that will make a lifesaving difference for women in Rhode Island.

There is a growing and concerning number of women who are experiencing decreased blood flow or even heart attacks, with current testing methods revealing minimal or no blockages at all.

Women experiencing a heart attack often present with symptoms other than the classic crushing chest pain and tightness. And when clinicians unfamiliar with women’s heart conditions don’t find a blockage, they’re more likely to misdiagnose the pain as non-cardiac related, leading to more cardiovascular events, hospitalizations, impaired quality of life, and even death. At The Miriam and with your help – this course is about to change!

But what women’s heart specialists, like cardiologist Katherine French, MD, know is that “quite often, conditions affecting the microvascular system of the heart – or the small veins surrounding it – can cause pain or a heart attack in women. But the technology is not readily available to test for these conditions easily and routinely. With the advanced diagnostic imaging supported by The Miriam Gala, we will have the tools we need to make definitive diagnoses, sooner, for women with microvascular disease.”

Interventional cardiologist Dawn Abbott, MD explains, “If women don’t go to a specialist who understands the different symptoms, like shortness of breath, or pain radiating to the arms, neck or jaw, among others, they may say the pain isn’t coming from the heart. But when we further evaluate these small vessels, we find women are more likely to have a cardiac issue.”

Dr. Abbott continues, “Right now, it’s a data void when it comes to women’s chest pains because research hasn’t focused on it, but clearly with the statistics showing it as the number one cause of death in women, there is an urgent need to study it.”

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