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Heart symposium promotes prevention

Women’s Heart Care at the MUSC Heart  & Vascular Center and BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) of South Carolina have joined forces to present the second annual Women’s Heart Health Symposium to educate Charleston-area women about the risk factors, warning signs and prevention of cardiovascular disease—the leading killer of U.S. women 25 years of age and older. 
Nationally, 44.7 percent of black women and 32.4 percent of white women suffer from cardiovascular disease, and one in two women will die of heart disease or stroke this year. In South Carolina, the statistics are slightly more grim—51.5 percent of all heart disease and stroke deaths occur in women, accounting for more female deaths than the next four causes of death combined (including all forms of cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s and unintentional injury).
Motivated by a sense of urgency about the significant impact of cardiovascular disease on women, MUSC Heart & Vascular board member Bev Seinsheimer,  along with MUSC Women’s Heart Care cardiologists Pamela Morris, M.D., and Marian Taylor, M.D., founded the Women’s Hearth Health Symposium.
“Last year’s inaugural event focused on raising awareness and educating Lowcountry women about the risk factors and symptoms of cardiovascular disease,” said Morris, an assistant professor of medicine and a preventive cardiologist. “This year, we’ll be helping women prepare an action plan for healthy living that focuses on physical activity and choices that ultimately lead to better heart health.”
Seinsheimer and her team of committed volunteers and supporters are passionate about raising awareness about heart disease among Lowcountry women.
“This event was created for one simple reason. We want to save lives,” said Seinsheimer. “Our cardiologists confront this disease every day, and I have a background in cardiovascular nursing and a keen interest in prevention. We want women to empower themselves with the knowledge to recognize and prevent heart disease.”  
The Women’s Heart Health Symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 26 at Gaillard Municipal Auditorium. The program will feature MUSC Women’s Heart Care cardiologists and other speakers sharing the latest information on cardiovascular disease and tips on healthy living, as well as a performance and instruction by the Fred Astaire Ballroom Dance Professionals, Praise Aerobics, a Go Red fashion show showcasing red fashions from local clothiers, and a drawing for prizes donated by local merchants.
MUSC is the exclusive local sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, a nationwide movement that encourages women to care for their hearts by leading healthy lives and knowing the risk factors for heart disease.
“Our goal is to empower women to play an active role in their heart care by providing them with heart health assessment tools and tailored strategies to help them live healthier lives,” Morris said.
The cost to attend the Women’s Heart Health Symposium is $10, which includes a heart healthy lunch, door prizes and gift bags. Participants also will have the opportunity to receive a heart-health screening, which includes cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) for an additional $10. The screening will take place from 7 to 9 a.m. Screening space is limited and reservations are required. Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. will kick off the symposium.
To make reservations and receive the heart health screening, participants should call 792-1414 or visit  

2008 Women’s Heart Health Symposium Agenda
7 - 9 a.m.—Health screenings, review and breakfast
9-9:15 a.m.—Epidemic of Heart Disease in Women:
Gossip Worth Repeating to All Your Friends!
9:15-9:45 a.m.—Diabetes and the Feminine Heart
9:45-10:15 a.m.—Myth Busters 101: Proven Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol
10:15-10:30 a.m.—Questions
10:30-11 a.m.—Break and expo browsing
11-11:15 a.m.—Dancing like the stars
11:15-11:45 a.m. —10,000 steps to fitness
11:45 a.m. -12:45 p.m.—Lunch break
12:45-1:15 p.m.—Dancing with the stars
12:45-1:15 p.m.—Sleepless in Charleston: Practical Tips for Healthier Sleep Habits
1:15-1:45 p.m.—Hormonal Confusion: Making Sense of the Menopausal Hormone Dilemma
1:45-2 p.m.—Questions
2-2:15 p.m.—Praise aerobics
2:15-2:45 p.m.—Go Red Fashion Show
2:45-3 p.m.—Giveaways.  Must be present to win


Friday, April 18, 2008
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