Njeri Thande, MD, specializes in treating cardiovascular disease in underserved populations, including women. She points out that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in men and women, but more women die from it.
“There is growing awareness that heart disease is not exclusively a ‘man's disease,’” says Dr. Thande, an assistant professor of medicine (cardiology) at Yale School of Medicine. “The field is changing to study women and heart disease, specifically the difference in pathophysiology and how it impacts prevention, disease presentation, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.”
Dr. Thande believes doctors have an opportunity to prolong and improve the quality of life for many people who suffer from cardiovascular disease. “I take the time to listen to patients’ concerns, actively involve them in the decisions surrounding their health and collaborate with other highly qualified providers to treat the whole person,” she says. “One of my female patients lived with a diagnosis of anxiety all her life. I diagnosed her with a common arrhythmia as the underlying cause of her ‘panic attacks.’”