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    Ob/gyns should join the fight against quiet killer

     

    Dr. Lockwood, Editor-in-Chief, is Dean of the Morsani College of Medicine and Senior Vice President of USF Health, University of South Florida, Tampa.

     

    What do the leading cause of US healthcare costs and adult female mortality, the primary driver of increasing US maternal mortality rates, and the long-term maternal sequelae of spontaneous preterm birth (SPTB), preeclampsia, and fetal growth restriction have in common? The answer is heart disease.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the quiet killer of American women in part because more than half do not recognize that it is the leading cause of mortality.1 Every year heart disease kills more women than cancer (23.5% vs 22.1% of all US mortality).2 In fact, based on the most recent CDC data for both diseases, 7 times as many American women die each year of heart disease as die of breast cancer (292,188 vs 40,931).1,3 In 2010, the total healthcare bill for cardiovascular disease (CVD) was $444 billion—or about $1 in $6 of all US healthcare spending.4

    The good news is that ob/gyns are in an ideal position to identify risk factors, implement preventative strategies, and catch incipient disease early enough to prevent death and disability.

    Charles J. Lockwood, MD, MHCM
    Dr. Lockwood, Editor-in-Chief, is Dean of the Morsani College of Medicine and Senior Vice President of USF Health, University of South ...

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