Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in Canadian women. But since women are largely protected by hormones (such as estrogen) in their earlier years, they are often unaware of the risks as they approach middle age.
As Canada Research Chair in Cardiovascular Adaptation to Exercise, Dr. Anita Coté is investigating how the female heart adapts to exercise beginning in childhood and how exercise habits adopted early in life may affect the risks of CVD later. Coté and her research team are conducting long-term tracking of exercise patterns to understand how exercise elicits changes to the heart and blood vessels during normal growth and development. Ultimately, they hope to shed light on how CVD risk progresses in women while also informing prevention and treatment strategies.