NEWS | May 3, 2012

Villablanca to deliver keynote address at "Battle Heart Disease" event


Amparo Villablanca, professor and director of the Women's Cardiovascular Medicine Program at UC Davis, will be the keynote speaker at "Battle Heart Disease 2012," a community event to encourage Latinos to adopt heart-healthy lifestyles.

The free event takes place Wednesday, May 9, from 7-9 p.m. in Freeborn Hall at UC Davis.

Villablanca will provide specific steps to reduce the risks of heart disease in her address, titled "Heart Disease: Encouraging Awareness and Prevention in Latinos."

Dr. Villablanca © UC Regents
Amparo Villablanca

In her clinic and outreach, Villablanca encourages everyone to think about the threat of heart disease -- even in their 20s and 30s, because heart disease develops over the course of decades and is the leading cause of death in the U.S. She emphasizes lifestyle changes, because as much as 90 percent of heart disease is preventable.

"It is critical to know the importance of adopting healthy habits that include exercise and a healthy diet," said Villablanca, who holds the Frances Lazda Endowed Chair in Women's Cardiovascular Medicine and is a West Coast spokesperson for the National Institutes of Health's "The Heart Truth" campaign.

Villablanca recently launched a "know your numbers" initiative that is based on American Heart Association messages but adapted to encourage Latinas to ask their health-care providers for and then track key heart-disease indicators: cholesterol levels, blood sugar level, blood fat level, blood pressure, BMI and waist size.

"This information is key to taking charge of your heart health and can be empowering in making changes that reduce the chances of diabetes and other heart-disease risk factors," she said.

Dr. Villablanca © UC Regents

Watch a video about Dr. Amparo Villablanca's "know your numbers" initiative.

Video in English
Video en Español 

"Battle Heart Disease 2012" is sponsored by the UC Davis chapter of Alpha Pi Sigma, a sorority dedicated to supporting Latino communities through leadership, academic enrichment and service. The chapter is focused this year on increasing awareness about the effects of and preventions for heart disease, since Latinos are among those who are most at risk. The event -- geared toward families in Davis and surrounding areas -- includes table displays of community and educational resources, heart-healthy raffle prizes and games for children.

To reserve a resource table or for more information about the event, contact Yesenia Aguiniga at or 925-222-8874.

About the UC Davis Women's Cardiovascular Medicine Program
The UC Davis Women's Cardiovascular Medicine Program offers state-of-the-art cardiovascular care for women, education services and studies on women's heart-health issues. The cornerstone of the program is the Women's Cardiovascular Medicine Clinic, providing comprehensive care in a climate that is woman-centered, culturally appropriate and respectful of each patient's needs. For information, visit