First Word

Here at CVB, we tend to think of our audience as cardiology’s practitioners, not its patients. But the truth is, the public is reading our content as frequently as physicians. Our job is the same, no matter the audience—to tell cardiology’s stories.

Revolutions—dramatic and wide-reaching changes in the way something works, is organized or how we think about it—can sneak up on us.

 

Where are you with wearable devices? Sporting an Apple Watch or a Fitbit right now? When was the last time you looked at it? When patients ask you about a new device they saw on the internet, do you do some intel?

Where I live in Pennsylvania, not far from the “Heroin Highway,” the local news delivers frequent but superficial glimpses of the impact of the opioid epidemic on families and our communities. Statistics underscore such stories: More than 70,000 drug over-dose deaths just in 2017 with an associated “economic burden” exceeding $78 billion per year. 

I don’t need to tell you that social determinants of health (SDoH) present challenges for your patients. You’ve seen the data indicating that as much as 80 percent of an individual’s health comes from factors other than the clinical care he or she receives. You know the impact of disparities. 

In this magazine’s cover story, we examine the work that still needs to be done to improve women’s heart health. Despite significant progress, too many women aren’t even aware that heart disease is relevant to them, let alone their gender’s leading cause of death.