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New Clinic Helps Menopause Patients with Heart Risks

Advanced Preventive Women's Clinic is part of Heart Institute

Menopausal women at risk for heart disease now have a specialized clinic at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. The Advanced Preventive Women's Clinic at the Women's Heart Center offers comprehensive cardiac risk assessments designed for high-risk women who are in menopause. This clinic offers menopausal patients state-of-the-art screenings, as well as personalized medical therapies, including high-risk hormone counseling.

"This clinic is designed for women who are at higher risk for heart disease and who are seeking to treat their menopause symptoms while taking steps to prevent heart problems," said Chrisandra Shufelt, M.D., assistant director of the Cedars-Sinai Women's Heart Center and a NAMS Certified Menopause practitioner.

Some women - especially those who have had a prior heart attack, bypass surgery or TIAs - may not be appropriate for hormone therapy, but no one needs to suffer with menopause symptoms, Dr. Shufelt said. In cases where hormone therapy is not advisable, there are other non-hormonal options and lifestyle modification to consider. This personalized medicine approach enables this clinic to tailor a treatment plan that is uniquely suited for the patient.

Research is also part of the equation. There is a study underway to evaluate the possible benefits of traditional acupuncture on frequency and severity of vasomotor symptoms, menopause quality of life and other perceived psychological stressors. In addition, there is a study to evaluate the relationship between the degree of basal hypothalamic pituitary axis responsivity and cortisol metabolism with the severity and frequency of vasomotor symptom.

The Advanced Preventive Women's Clinic offers hormone therapy counseling as well as non-hormonal options, Dr. Shufelt said. The decision as to which provides the better treatment for each individual is determined by the woman's own symptoms, risk factors, medical history and assessment of risk and benefit. Advisement for high risk women regarding contraceptive hormone therapy is also available.

To refer a patient to the center, please call (310) 423-9680.