The National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) has launched the Women’s Heart Clinic that will offer end-to-end services, from prevention to diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation, customised to the specific needs of women.
While heart disease claims an equal number of lives among men and women, studies show that heart disease is deadlier in women, often going undiagnosed or undertreated.
Gender differences also affect how heart disease manifests in women compared to men. For instance, most women exhibit different symptoms from men during a heart attack, which may not be typically associated with a heart attack. This includes indigestion, heartburn or pain in the back, neck or jaw.
“We wanted to cater to the biological, physiological and psychological needs of our women patients which are different from men. Women are more likely to ignore symptoms, inaccurately assess their own personal risks of heart disease and delay seeking medical treatment,” said Associate Professor Carolyn Lam, Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiology, NHCS.
At the launch on 21 September, leading healthcare company Abbott presented a $20,000 educational grant to the NHCS Women’s Heart Clinic to support their public awareness efforts on heart disease among women.
Dr Carolyn Lam (right) receiving the educational grant from Abbott.
The dedicated clinic will allow for a deeper understanding on women’s heart health as ongoing clinical studies seek to improve diagnosis and treatment. For instance, Abbott and NHCS are working to determine the benefits of using the high sensitive Troponin-I test, a new test which has gender-specific thresholds that can potentially detect previously missed signs of heart attacks among women.
Dr Lam said, “We have chosen to put women’s needs at the ‘heart’ of our services and empower more women to take charge of their own heart health. Our clinic will guide and reassure them on their health journey.”