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Tulane celebrates Wear Red Day with heart health seminar

February 01, 2017 9:45 AM


Carolyn Scofield

Go Red for Women is an annual campaign designed to increase awareness about heart disease in women. (Logo courtesy of: American Heart Association)


Heart disease is the number one killer of women, claiming a life nearly every minute. Tulane will be awash in red this Friday, February 3 in honor of National Wear Red Day. The annual event is part of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women initiative, an effort to increase awareness of heart disease in women.

The Tulane School of Medicine Department of Pharmacology is hosting a seminar in partnership with the AHA and the public is invited to attend. The seminar will feature Nina Stachenfeld of the John B. Pierce Laboratory and the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine.

Stachenfeld’s research focuses on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), the most common reproductive syndrome, affecting nearly 1 in 10 young women.  Her work focuses specifically on the related cardiovascular comorbidities of this complex disorder, specifically endothelial dysfunction.  The endothelium is the lining of the blood vessels, and endothelial dysfunction related to PCOS can result in problems such as poor dilation of the blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.  One of the key features of PCOS is high testosterone level, and Dr. Stachenfeld’s work examines how the greater androgen exposure drives these cardiovascular changes.

“These cardiovascular changes are something you see in older people but to see this in a younger population is why PCOS is such a problem,” says Stachenfeld. “Most women being treated for PCOS have typically been treated by their gynecologist, but now organizations like the American Heart Association are recognizing the cardiovascular issues caused by the disorder.”

The free seminar is noon Friday in the first floor auditorium at the School of Medicine. Attendees, along with Tulane students, faculty and staff are all encouraged to wear red in support of the National Wear Red Day.

For more information on the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, click here.