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McSweeney Briefs Rotarians on Heart Disease in Women

March 1, 2017 | Jean C. McSweeney, PhD, RN, associate dean for research in the College of Nursing, spoke Feb. 28 to the Rotary Club of Little Rock about the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in women and steps needed to address it.

McSweeney briefed rotary members on symptoms of heart disease for women, including unusual fatigue, anxiety, sleep disturbance, chest discomfort and shortness of breath, and highlighted the difference from men’s symptoms. She also noted the impact heart disease has in Arkansas, mentioning an American Heart Association statistic that shows 23 percent of women in Arkansas die as a result of heart disease.

She pointed out controllable risk factors, including diabetes, high blood pressure, inactivity and obesity, and urged the audience to remember it’s never too late to make changes in an effort to become more heart healthy. She also encouraged members to participate in research to help influence care.

McSweeney is internationally known for her work in women’s cardiovascular disease. In 2003, she garnered widespread publicity and attention after publishing the first study to show women often have different symptoms than men for heart attacks. Last year, she chaired the first scientific statement from the American Heart Association entirely devoted to ischemic heart disease in women.

She has been at UAMS for more than 20 years and has served on the National Institute of Nursing Research Advisory Council and is the only researcher from Arkansas to ever be appointed to the National Institutes of Health Council of Councils.

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