UK HealthCare

Symposium to Explore Women's Heart Health

Symposium to explore women's heart health
Annual symposium to explore women's heart health.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2020) – More than 4,800 women die each year from heart disease in Kentucky. Across the United States, women are dying every 80 seconds from cardiovascular disease and stroke, which they are less likely to survive than men. 

These staggering statistics are what keep two University of Kentucky faculty members pushing for more research and funding in the field of women’s heart health.

Analia Loria, Ph.D., and Frédérique Yiannikouris, Ph.D., from UK’s Department of Pharmacology & Nutritional Sciences, created the Healthy Hearts for Women Symposium. In its sixth consecutive year, the event features scientists from UK and universities across the country, who present research and new findings in women’s heart health and translational cardiovascular medicine.

“There are many important differences between men and women with regard to heart disease,” Loria said. “It’s critical to consider sex as a biological variable in heart disease to better understand the cause and effect as part of the process to find better and more adapted treatment.”

Loria believes each year, the symposium spurs thinking in study design. Updates in research allows for a continuous discovering of new mechanisms that may translate in novel and more effective therapeutics to fight cardiovascular disease in women, she added.

Yiannikouris’ ultimate goal is to bring physicians and scientists together to exchange new skills, knowledge and recent advances in cardiovascular research to improve and speed up the research and health care of women.

The 2020 symposium will be held on Friday, Feb. 7 from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in the Charles T. Wethington Jr. building, room 127. UK’s Vice President for Research Lisa Cassis will offer opening remarks. Nationally recognized speakers include Heddwen Brooks, Ph.D., University of Arizona Health Sciences; Dr. Mark Santillan, University of Iowa Health Care; and Dr. Mary Cushman, University of Vermont.

The symposium is sponsored by the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences in the UK College of Medicine, the Gill Heart & Vascular Institute and Saha Cardiovascular Research Center, as a demonstration of UK’s commitment to address this health disparity.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.