Canada's Olympic Figure Skating Heroine Joins with the University of Ottawa Heart Institute to Fight Heart Disease in Women

Friday, April 23, 2010 Women Health News J E 4
OTTAWA, April 22 /PRNewswire/ - Olympic figure skating heroine Joannie Rochette is teaming with the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) to help change the course of heart disease in women.

Rochette, the Olympic Bronze medalist, captured the world's attention and admiration with her poise and courage, winning her Olympic medal just four days after her mother, Therese, died unexpectedly of a massive heart attack. Her mother succumbed to a mix of genetic and lifestyle risk factors, a circumstance that is far more common in women than is generally recognized.

Heart disease and stroke is the leading cause of death for women. There are important differences in the awareness, prevention, understanding and treatment of heart disease in women compared to men. For instance, women do not always exhibit the classic signs of a heart attack and their symptoms can be more diffuse, increasing the odds of having a heart problem misdiagnosed.

Through the Heart Institute, Joannie will help re-shape women's attitudes and understanding of heart disease, increase prevention measures and fuel heart research with a view to ultimately ending the disease. On Saturday, April 24, Joannie will be at the Heart Institute to launch a campaign to motivate these developments, in part by helping to raise funds for projects related to women's heart health.

"Like everyone else, we were completely captivated by Joannie's character and poise in coping with the loss of her mother under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable," said Dr. Robert Roberts, President and CEO, UOHI. "By providing her voice and support to this cause, we in the medical community hope to make major inroads in reducing the impact of heart disease in women for years to come."

Some facts on heart disease in women

About UOHI

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is Canada's largest and foremost cardiovascular health centre dedicated to understanding, treating and preventing heart disease. We deliver high-tech care with a personal touch, shape the way cardiovascular medicine is practiced, and revolutionize cardiac treatment and understanding. We build knowledge through research and translate discoveries into advanced care. We serve the local, national and international community, and are pioneering a new era in heart health. For more information, visit

Editor: Joannie Rochette will be part of an event at the Heart Institute in Ottawa on Saturday, April 24, from 1:45pm. Media are invited to attend.

- Heart disease is the #1 killer of women aged 55 or older - Women of all ages represent 50% of heart disease deaths in Canada - In 2005, more than 25,000 Canadian women died from heart disease - More than one-third of women aged 45 and over have high blood pressure - Heart disease risk in women increases with age and the onset of menopause - Heart attack is not uncommon in women in their 30s - Women's heart attack symptoms can include unusual fatigue, trouble sleeping, - Indigestion and anxiety up to one month before a heart attack



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