Why are so many women misinformed when it comes to heart disease? According to the CDC, about 1 in 16 women age 20 and older have coronary heart disease, and about 1 in every 5 female deaths are heart related. It is  the leading killer of women in the United States and globally. But even today, and despite an increase in awareness, only about half of women recognize that heart disease is their number 1 killer.

February is American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness of cardiovascular health. If we can make Heart Month half as popular as Breast Cancer Awareness month, I think we might just save some lives. 

Guest: Martha Gulati, MD, MS, FACC, FAHA, FASPC, FESC is the President of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology and a cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, where she is a professor of cardiology and the director of prevention, the associate director of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center and holds the Anita Dann Friedman Endowed Chair in Women’s Cardiovascular Medicine and Research. She was formerly the inaugural Chief of Cardiology at the University of Arizona. She is the author of the best-seller, “Saving Women’s Hearts”. She served as the chair of the national chest pain guidelines that were released in late 2021. 

Her exceptional commitment to the study of women and cardiac diseases has won her numerous awards and distinctions, including being named by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of Chicago’s Top 40 under 40. In 2011, she received the first CREDO (Coalition to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Cardiovascular Outcomes) Award from the American College of Cardiology that was given to honor her contributions to improve cardiovascular healthcare of women patients. In 2012, she was awarded the National Red Dress Award for her efforts in raising awareness of heart disease in women and advancing research in this field. In 2019, she was chosen as the most influential woman in Arizona and received the 2019 American College of Cardiology’s Bernadine Healy Award for her leadership and accomplishment in the field of cardiovascular disease in women. 

She is the principal investigator of the St. James Women Take Heart Project, a study examining cardiac risk factors in women, which set standards for women’s fitness levels and heart rate response to exercise in women. She also is a co-investigator on the Women Ischemic Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) and previously served as a co-investigator on the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). She has published articles in peer-reviewed publications, including The New England Journal of Medicine, Circulation, and Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). She has also been featured on Oprah. 

Dr. Gulati is Canadian and completed medical school at the University of Toronto, Canada. She went on to complete her internship, residency and cardiology fellowship at the University of Chicago. She received a Masters’ in Science at the University of Chicago and is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the American Society for Preventive Cardiology & the European Society of Cardiology. She is board certified in cardiovascular disease. 

Download a Transcript of Episode 172