Hadassah

Heart Disease

Heart Disease  is the number one cause of death in the United States and worldwide. The disease can manifest as blockages in veins and arteries, disrupted heart rhythms, and more. Though men have historically been the subject of study and attention, women’s unique signs and symptoms have been getting more visibility in recent years. Hadassah Medical Organization is leading the way.

HMO RESEARCH:

  • At HMO’s Cardiovascular Research Institute, Dr. Ronen Beeri, Institute Director, is collaborating with colleagues at Mt. Sinai (NY) Medical Center in using gene therapy to replace failing heart cells. They are employing viruses as transporters of specific genetic material into the heart cell.
  • HMO researchers have proven that heart cells can regenerate following a heart attack. They have implanted stem cells from a mouse’s left atrial appendage that successfully replicated mature cardiac cells in a damaged area of the heart.
  • HMO recently opened a cardio-genetic consultation clinic to identify the triggers of various heart conditions. With this knowledge, early diagnosis and treatment as well as preventive health measures can save lives.

WOMEN'S HEART HEALTH:

  • Prof. Chaim Lotan, head of HMO’s Heart Institute and former President of the Israel Heart Society, has pioneered the recognition of women’s heart disease and the gender disparities in symptoms, research and treatment. He has made it his mission to raise awareness of these differences.
  • HMO’s Linda Joy Pollin Cardiovascular Wellness Institute, led by Dr. Donna Zfat-Zwas, learned in a research study that only 34.4% of Israeli women and 25.9% of Arab women know heart disease is a major cause of women’s deaths.
  • The Pollin Institute has initiated community outreach programs in Haredi and Arab neighborhoods to raise awareness about preventive heart health and empower women to be forces for change in nutrition and exercise in those communities.

NEXT STEPS:

  • The Linda Joy Pollin Cardiovascular Wellness Institute has partnered with HMO’s Endocrinology Department to investigate the female heart’s response to menopause in an animal model. The study is identifying the differences in heart anatomy and function in mice once the ovaries are removed.
  • HMO is investigating the differences in the way men and women perceive chest pain as it relates to the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
  • Researchers are looking at differences in effects of anticoagulant drugs on women.
  • In the United States, Hadassah is forging ahead with its growing advocacy campaign for Gender Equity in Medical Research (GEM) in order to fight these disparities in heart disease research and other health specialties.

HMO COLLABORATIONS:

European Union; Mount Sinai Medical Center; Massachusetts General; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); The Forsyth Institute, Cambridge, MA; Harvard School of Public Health; Harvard Medical School.

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