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Kentucky Heart Foundation Seeking Women to Enroll in Angina Study

The Kentucky Heart Foundation at King’s Daughters Medical Center is enrolling area women with chronic stable angina in a seven-week research study called Women’s Ischemia Symptom Questionnaire (WISQ). The study is part of a national research program focused on women and heart disease. To qualify, women must be 18 or older and have a diagnosis of angina for at least three months that is relieved by taking nitroglycerin and/or by resting. Cardiologist Robert Touchon, M.D., medical director of the Kentucky Heart Foundation, will provide medical oversight of the study.

Participants in the WISQ study will answer a set of questionnaires, take medication approved for the treatment of angina for four weeks, then answer the questionnaires again. Investigators will compare answers to see if the questionnaires are helpful in improving the clinicians’ understanding and characterization of angina and responses to therapy in this population. The participants will receive the medication and study-related doctor visits and EKGs at no cost during the study period. To enroll or for more information, please call the Kentucky Heart Foundation during regular business hours at (606) 324-1544. After hours, please leave a message.

Angina is chest pain or discomfort that occurs when an area of the heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood because of plaque buildup that has narrowed the coronary arteries. Angina may feel like pressure or squeezing in the chest. The pain also may occur in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back. It usually occurs when the heart is working harder than usual and the pain usually goes away in a few minutes after rest or taking angina medicine. Angina isn't a heart attack, but it makes a heart attack more likely in the future.

Of the estimated 8.9 million angina patients in the U.S., more than half are women (4.6 million). Per American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines, the goal of anti-anginal therapy is the complete or near complete elimination of anginal chest pain and a return to normal activities and a good quality of life. Recent studies indicate that coronary artery disease in women is more complex and complicated than men, and that plaque buildup in women is more spread out inside the arteries rather than built up in one place. Women also tend to have disease in more of the small blood vessels than men, which makes diagnosing women’s coronary artery disease more difficult. Women are more likely to experience non-typical symptoms of angina and are more likely to suffer from greater functional disability from angina compared to men with angina. Consequently, women may respond and express their response to anti-anginal therapy differently than men.

The current WISQ study will evaluate the validity, reliability and responsiveness of a newly developed questionnaire based on new knowledge of the differences in women’s angina symptoms. The study also evaluates the effectiveness of the angina medication taken by the participants.

The Kentucky Heart Foundation is a non-profit organization that brings national cardiovascular research studies to this region to improve the life expectancy of people affected by cardiovascular disease. The Foundation is closely linked with the King’s Daughters Heart and Vascular Center, the medical staff at KDMC, major pharmaceutical and device manufacturers and research entities.

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