As a young, thin, non-smoking, vegetarian woman, Lori Kupetz didn’t fit the profile of someone with heart disease. So when the stabbing chest pains began—while hiking, climbing stairs, playing in the park with her daughters—the first cardiologist Lori consulted dismissed her symptoms with one piece of advice: “Don’t worry.”
But Lori’s condition worsened and over the next year she visited more specialists, and had more invasive and expensive tests, always with the same results: “You couldn’t possibly have heart disease.” Then Lori read about the work of C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, at the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center. Recognizing signs other physicians didn’t see, Dr. Bairey Merz diagnosed Lori with fatty plaque build-up in the arteries of the heart, the leading cause of death among women of all ages.
Emergency triple bypass surgery saved Lori’s life, but she’s grateful for more than the care she received. “Without the groundbreaking research behind the care—without Cedars-Sinai’s work in education and prevention—I wouldn’t be here to watch my daughters grow up,” she says.
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