Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and men in America.
But the University’s Cardiovascular Center is working to help
the problem.

The center was ranked one of the 44 “best of the
best” centers for women’s heart care, according to a
new study in the February issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine.

“We’re the only hospital in Michigan that was on the
list, and one of the only in the Midwest, so we really pride our
center for this achievement,” said Kara Gavin, spokeswoman
for the University of Michigan Health System.

David Pinsky, chief of cardiovascular medicine at the University
Hospital, said the hospital consistently receives high
rankings.

“The ranking can really be contributed to our long
tradition of excellence in the many different areas of healthcare.
One of the primary areas is quality cardiovascular care, so it
certainly contributes to the ranking,” Pinsky said.

This recognition comes just as the center prepares to open a new
clinic for women with heart disease to complement their existing
center. Claire Duvernoy, an associate professor of internal
medicine and cardiology, is heading the new women’s
clinic.

“We’ve spent several years on this program, so
there’s been a lot of hard work put forth to establish this
program,” Duvernoy said. The clinic will officially open
March 1.

“This new clinic will be an additional resource for our
female patients and give them an environment that will give them
full attention to all of the issues they go through, including
their heart,” Gavin said.

Duvernoy said the clinic will be held at the East Ann Arbor
Health Center. It will be open for patients every Monday.

“The center will provide a full range of services for
women, from dietary strategies to counseling issues. We want to put
an emphasis on preventive healthcare, so we’re going to have
fun programs, such as tips for healthy cooking and different
exercises they can do to promote heart care,” Duvernoy
said.

“We’re really trying to work with other
women’s health experts in gynecology, in psychiatry, so we
can deliver state of the art comprehensive care for women in the
state of Michigan,” she added.

Duvernoy said a clinic focusing solely on women’s heart
problems at the hospital is long overdue.

Pinsky stressed the need for more research on female
cardiovascular diseases. “The leading disease of women is
cardiovascular disease, so there is a great interest in finding out
how this can be prevented and treated,” he said.

He added that research is critical to help decrease the number
of deaths attributed to heart disease, because treatments such as
hormonal replacement theory have not been successful.

“There are a lot of uncertainties and we have to find more
out about them. The marriage between the two disciplines (of
women’s disease and heart care) is an opportunity for us to
explore new ways to understand the causes of women’s disease
and how best to treat it,” Pinsky said.

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