Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women in the United States, but many women are not aware of it. Similarly, many women may not know that heart disease symptoms are not the same for men and women, and many women do not recognize symptoms or delay seeking potentially life-saving treatment. When they do seek treatment, women often receive less aggressive treatment than men. Some women may also face issues such as cardiac disease during pregnancy. Issues of hormone replacement therapy are also unique to women. Fortunately, the Stony Brook Medicine's Women's Heart Center addresses the unique cardiac needs of women with a specially tailored program. It's individualized cardiac care of women by women.
What Is the Women's Heart Center?
The Women's Heart Center at Stony Brook Medicine is a comprehensive approach to addressing gender-based differences in cardiac health and heart disease through treatment, education, and research designed specifically for women.
We offer a wide range of services especially for women. We focus on risk assessment, evaluation, risk management, and can help guide you through pregnancy when you have heart conditions.
- Risk assessment and prevention: We assess your individual risk factors for heart disease using evidence-based guidelines. Once we assess your heart disease risk, we will help you manage that risk through lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation, weight loss, or medication.
- Comprehensive cardiac diagnostic evaluation: After reviewing your medical history and risk assessment report, and conducting an initial cardiac exam, we will order diagnostic tests if needed, and decide whether other consultants are necessary to determine the best treatment plan for you.
- Pregnancy care: We can help you determine if it's safe for you to have a baby and help you manage your pregnancy if necessary.
- Care of specialized populations: We understand the effects that certain disorders can have on a woman's cardiovascular health, including systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and pulmonary hypertension. In addition, women whose religious beliefs make seeing a male cardiologist uncomfortable may be more comfortable being cared for by the Women's Heart Program.
- Lifestyle: You can control many of your risk factors for heart disease. Our team will educate you about controllable risk factors and how to make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk for heart disease. We will help you maintain or lose weight, modify your diet to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, quit smoking, and exercise more.
- Cardiac rehabilitation referrals: A cardiac rehabilitation program is a group of activities designed to help you recover from a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack, or a cardiac procedure, such as bypass surgery, and make the lifestyle changes to prevent future events. We can evaluate you and provide a referral to a cardiac rehabilitation program.
Co-directed by Kathleen Stergiopoulos, MD, PhD, and Noelle Mann, MD, our staff has years of training and experience in general cardiology as well as with women's cardiac issues. This enables us to provide comprehensive cardiac care for women. We take a collaborative approach to your care, stressing education and prevention. Our team is also involved in research focusing on women's heart disease. In addition to sharing the knowledge and insights we gain in the laboratory with our colleagues and patients, we also devote a large amount of time educating the general public about these critical issues. Our team includes:
- Michelle Weisfelner Bloom, MD - Cardiology / Heart Failure. For appointments in Hauppauge: (631) 444-9600
- Noelle Mann, MD, FACC - Cardiology. For appointments in East Setauket: (631) 444-9970. For appointments in Hauppauge: (631) 444-9600
- Allison J. McLarty, MD, FACS - Cardiothoracic Surgery. For appointments in East Setauket: (631) 444-9970
The Stony Brook Difference
When you turn to Stony Brook Medicine, you're turning to a leader. Our Women's Heart Center is the first university-based service offered in the Long Island and New York City area. Being first is important, but we also offer unparalleled medical care with an approach that relies on evidence-based guidelines. Staffed entirely by women who are experts in women's cardiology, Stony Brook's Women's Heart Center emphasizes education and prevention. We ensure that you are aware of your risk for heart disease and can take steps to lower it. If you already have heart disease, we will design an effective, individualized treatment plan that integrates cardiac treatment into medical care for any other women's issues.
SMART MEDICINE, EXPERT CARE. Our physicians are leaders in the field of women's cardiology, as demonstrated by their many publications in the medical literature that expand the knowledge needed to advance this essential area of heart care. For example, in 2011, Kathleen Stergiopoulos, MD, PhD, and her Stony Brook colleagues published their article titled "Pregnancy in Patients with Pre-Existing Cardiomyopathies," in the prestigious Journal of the American College of Cardiology. They conclude that "a multidisciplinary team approach and a controlled delivery are crucial to adequate management of patients with underlying heart disease." And this multidisciplinary approach is one of the many ways that we ensure excellence in patient care in our Women's Heart Center. (Click here to learn more about this article and how to obtain a copy of it.)
This questionnaire has been developed by our doctors to help them help women of all ages to know their risk for heart disease. It's a fact: Identifying the risk factors can help save lives!
Our physicians see patients at our satellite offices in two locations — Hauppauge, NY, and East Setauket, NY — where a variety of procedures are performed, as well.
Stony Brook University Hospital
Nicolls Road and Health Sciences Drive intersection
Stony Brook, NY, 11794
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Hauppauge Office of University Physicians at Stony Brook
200 Motor Parkway, Hauppauge
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Technology Park Office of University Physicians at Stony Brook
26 Research Way, East Setauket
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Patient Questionnaire - This questionnaire is designed to help us help women of any age identify their risk of heart disease. Once we have reviewed your completed questionnaire, we will discuss it with you at your visit.
- IPAC: This study looks at genetic information (DNA) as well as the immune system (the body's response to fight off infections and/or viruses) to find possible causes for the heart muscle damage that occurs in peripartum cardiomyopathy. Click here for more information at the NIH Clinical Trials page. The principal investigator for this study is: Hal Skopicki, MD, PhD. The co-investigator is: Kathleen Stergiopoulos, MD, PhD.
- VIRGO: This study investigates whether there are differences in the outcomes of men and women, ages 55 or younger, following a heart attack due to the role of gender. Click here for more information at the NIH Clinical Trials page. The principal investigator for this study is: Kathleen Stergiopoulos, MD.
Click here to view our Research and Innovations page.
5 Things Every Woman Should Know about Heart Disease
- Women often experience different heart attack symptoms from men. These include discomfort or pressure in chest, pain in one or both arms, upper back, neck or jaw; stomach pain; nausea, vomiting, trouble breathing, breaking out in a cold sweat, dizziness, or lightheadedness, inability to sleep, unusual fatigue, paleness, or clammy skin.
- Every minute counts: On average, women wait up to 2 hours after experiencing heart attack symptoms to seek help. Women tend to have more serious heart attacks than men, resulting in death.
- More women die of heart disease in the United States than any other disease, and more women than men die of heart disease.
- High blood pressure causes two thirds of strokes in women.
- Being a smoker doubles the risk for heart disease: Health risks start decreasing as soon as a few hours after smoking stops, and they continue to drop over time.
Click here to view Women's Heart Center FAQs