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Updated 12:00 PM February 2, 2004



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U-M named one of nation's top heart centers for women

The Cardiovascular Center (CVC) is one of the top centers for women's heart care in the nation, according to a new ranking published by Good Housekeeping magazine. It is the only center in Michigan, and one of only 11 in the Midwest, to make the national list.

The honor roll of 44 "best of the best" centers for women's heart care was made in conjunction with the company that compiles the popular "America's Top Doctors" guide. It's published in the February issue of the magazine, which focuses on womens heart health.

This national recognition comes just as the CVC prepares to launch a new weekly clinic for female patients, headed by cardiologist Dr. Claire Duvernoy. It's designed to care for women with a previous heart crisis or major risk factors, and will pay special attention to symptoms and issues particular to women, as well as preventive strategies such as healthy diet and exercise.

Heart disease traditionally has been seen as a "man's disease," but in fact it's the leading killer of women, causing more deaths than all cancers combined. "The tragedy is that most women don't perceive themselves as at-risk from heart disease," Duvernoy says.

That's why the Good Housekeeping ranking, and its accompanying articles on women and heart disease, are so welcome, says Dr. Kim Eagle, clinical director of the CVC.

"We're proud to be recognized in this way, because we work every day to provide our female patients with excellent comprehensive care. But we know there's much more to be done before all women fully comprehend the threat that heart and vascular diseases pose to them, and act to prevent it or get proper treatment," he says.

"Nationwide efforts to raise awareness of women's heart issues, including the National Wear Red Day on Feb. 6, are just as crucial as improvements in patient care," Eagle says. "I know my colleagues and I will be wearing red on Friday, and distributing information, and we hope others will too."

National Wear Red Day is led by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the American Heart Association.

The new women's clinic, Eagle notes, is part of the broad range of heart, vascular and surgical care that the CVC offers to all its patients—male and female. A new toll-free number, (888) 287-1082, provides one-call access to all services for current and prospective CVC patients.

U-M cardiovascular care also has received high national rankings: Child magazine recognized the Michigan Congenital Heart Center as one of the best heart programs for children, and U.S. News & World Report magazine recognized U-M's adult heart care as among the best in the nation. U-M also received several top ratings from the Michigan Health and Safety Coalition for heart and vascular care.

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