Heart disease and stroke cause one in three deaths among women in the United States each year. Life events such as pregnancy and menopause, as well as psychosocial factors and fragmented care, may increase women’s risk for cardiovascular disease. However, women may be unaware of their risk and are less likely than men to undergo non-invasive diagnostic testing at the initial point of care. This results in delayed diagnosis, delayed therapeutic interventions and poorer results and outcomes. Further, despite the significant disease burden and gaps in care, women are still underrepresented in clinical research focused on heart disease and stroke.

In this session panelists:

  • Described recent evidence on how pregnancy, the menopause transition, and psychosocial factors, including stress and interpersonal violence, impact cardiovascular risk in women.
  • Learned how PCORI-funded researchers are testing innovative patient and community-centered care models to improve heart health for birthing people.
  • Discussed gaps in care and opportunities for future comparative effectiveness research to improve women’s cardiovascular health across the life course.


Breakout Speaker

Heidi Dohse, NBC-HWC

  • Founder/President, Tour de Heart
Breakout Speaker
2023 PCORI Annual Meeting Headshot of Lindsay Ferrante

Lindsay Ferrante

  • Patient Speaker (Cardiovascular Disease Survivor)
Breakout Speaker

Celina Gorre, MPH, MPA

  • Chief Executive Officer, WomenHeart
Breakout Speaker

Sharon Herring, M.D., MPH

  • Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University Director, Program for Maternal Health Equity, Center for Urban Bioethics, Temple University
Breakout Speaker

Garima Sharma, M.D., FACC, FAHA

  • Director, Cardio-Obstetrics and Cardiovascular Women’s Health, Inova Health System
Breakout Speaker
2023 PCORI Annual Meeting Headshot of Pamela Thomas

Pamela E. Thomas

  • Heart Health Advocate/Patient
Breakout Speaker

Rebecca Thurston, Ph.D., FABMR, FAPS

  • Pittsburgh Foundation Chair of Women’s Health and Dementia, University of Pittsburgh; Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, Epidemiology, and Clinical and Translational Science


Health Conditions Health Conditions These are the broad terms we use to categorize our funded research studies; specific diseases or conditions are included within the appropriate larger category. Note: not all of our funded projects focus on a single disease or condition; some touch on multiple diseases or conditions, research methods, or broader health system interventions. Such projects won’t be listed by a primary disease/condition and so won’t appear if you use this filter tool to find them. View Glossary
Health Topics
Populations Populations PCORI is interested in research that seeks to better understand how different clinical and health system options work for different people. These populations are frequently studied in our portfolio or identified as being of interest by our stakeholders. View Glossary