By Paul J. Watkins
On Saturday, May 6, 2023, UT Health San Antonio’s Women’s Health Conference will be held at San Antonio Botanical Garden.
“The conference is geared towards all adult women who want to be active in protecting their and their loved ones’ health,” says Ildiko Agoston, MD, FACC, FASE, FASNC, a board-certified and fellowship-trained cardiologist. She’s medical director of Cardiology and director of the Women’s Comprehensive Health Institute at UT Health Physicians.
“This conference is where our medical experts get to spend valuable time with the women in our community – answering their questions, sharing dependable information about the latest health topics, and, overall, empowering and encouraging women of all ages to make their well-being a top priority.
“The conference provides women in our community with up-to-date, expert information from UT Health San Antonio’s specialists in women’s health. Attendees also get to enjoy a gourmet breakfast, meaningful presentations, free health screenings, and a women’s wellness fair.”
The conference focuses on how our physical health and mental health all connect back to our heart health. The conference offers inspiration for everyone, and this year’s speakers are outstanding. They’re among the foremost medical experts in their fields, and their presentations are so incredibly relevant to the questions and concerns so many women share today.
Topics include: The latest findings on how COVID really impacts dementia and depression;
which spices and foods we should be eating to help prevent inflammation and cancer; how women can both predict and prevent their future risk of having a heart attack; and how to deal with the opioid epidemic from the main caregiver perspective. And that’s just naming a few. There are so many more potentially-lifesaving seminars. Everyone will end their day more informed and more inspired.
Dr. Agoston, conference chairperson, says the event will cover many important developments in the prevention and treatment of heart health issues. “The connection between heart disease and pregnancy has been a new development recognized in the last decade. As more women have babies later in life, there are substantially more women who already have multiple cardiovascular disease risk factors such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia, or hypertension by the time they get pregnant. Even otherwise healthy women may develop gestational [pregnancy-related] hypertension and gestational diabetes that may adversely affect the mother and baby’s outcome by causing preeclampsia.
“However, only very recently have cardiologists recognized that having a history of preeclampsia or gestational diabetes at a younger age will affect women’s cardiovascular outcome later in life by increasing their risk for heart attack and stroke. For this reason, the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association recognized preeclampsia and gestational diabetes as specific coronary artery disease [CAD] risk factors for women.”
Dr. Agoston emphasizes that women tend to have an atypical presentation of heart disease and are commonly underdiagnosed and undertreated for CAD. Women have smaller hearts and smaller arteries than men, so most of the current technologies need to be modified when physicians are treating women with heart disease. Even something as simple as coronary stents may not be easy to deploy in a small vessel – hence many women are poor candidates for stent placement.
“Treating women for cardiovascular issues often requires a different approach, lots of patience, and active listening,” concludes Dr. Agoston. “Women can – and should – be active participants in maintaining their heart health, and events like our conference help educate them to do that.”
To learn more about the conference or to register, visit UTHealthyWoman.org.