Patient Care

UR Medicine Cardiologists Pen Manual on Cardiovascular Disease in Women

Apr. 30, 2014
Hanna Z. Mieszczanska, M.D., is director of UR Medicine's Women's Heart Program.

 UR Medicine cardiologists have published a comprehensive manual for physicians to improve the diagnosis and treatment of women with heart disease, because they need different care than men.

“Management of Cardiovascular Disease in Women” will be a valued resource for a variety of practitioners, including primary care physicians, internists and obstetrician/gynecologists, who provide care for millions of women who face cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death for women.

Hanna Z. Mieszczanska, M.D., director of the Women’s Heart Program, and former colleague Gladys P. Velarde, M.D., who is now at University of Florida, led the two-year effort to produce the guidebook.  The Women Heart Program, an integral part of the UR Medicine Heart and Vascular,  provides specialized preventive care and the latest treatments for heart disease. 

“For years, women have been treated like men because there was a lack of gender-specific information available and under-representation of women in research studies of CVD,” said Mieszczanska, associate professor of Cardiology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Women are physiologically and psychologically different from men and clinicians need greater understanding of the variations in symptoms of CVD, test results and morbidity and mortality between the genders.

The book outlines current knowledge of heart disease in women, including the challenges and limitations of available research. It covers unique aspects to women’s heart health, such as pregnancy, impact of stress and other psychosocial issues, as well as hypertension, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure and diabetes.    

Many times women dismiss and minimize their heart disease symptoms because their responsibilities to their family and career are too difficult to ignore, Mieszczanska said. 

“Women are traditionally caregivers, but as our roles in the household have expanded into the workplace, women tend to forget to take care of themselves. As a result, they suffer silently with disease or are surprised by a significant health crisis that may have been avoided with preventive care,” she said.

Other chapter authors include UR Medicine’s John D. Bisognano, M.D., Ph.D., Stephanie J. Carter, M.D., Leway Chen, M.D., M.P.H., Rashaad Chothia, M.D., Renee M. Dallesen, M.D., Katherine S. Dodd, D.O., M.P.H, James Eichelberger, M.D., John Gassler, M.D., Catherine Gracey, M.D., Diane M. Hartmann, M.D., Vijay Krishnamoorthy, M.D., Rebecca Lewandowski, M.D., Ph.D.,. Erica O. Miller, M.D., Janice Opladen, A.C.N.P-B.C., Jason Pacos, M.D., Nicholas Paivanas, M.D., Angelo Pedulla, M.D., Rebecca Pratt, M.D., Sherazi, Saadia, M.D., M.S., and Sabu Thomas, M.D.

The book is available on