Women’s Heart Health

heart_info_banner

Heart disease causes more deaths in women than the next three causes combined. Heart disease causes at least 4 times more
annual deaths than breast cancer. Heart disease death has decreased for men, but not women.

 

More Fatal than any other Disease

Heart disease causes more deaths in women than the next three causes combined. Heart disease causes at least 4 times more annual deaths than breast cancer. Heart disease death has decreased for men, but not women.

How is Heart Disease Different for Women?

  • Women are older when they develop heart disease
  • Women tend to have many medical problems when they develop heart disease
  • Women with diabetes are 3-4 times more likely than men to develop heart disease

Who is At Risk?

Risk factors you CAN’T control:

  • Increasing age-Are you post-menopausal or over age 55?
  • Heredity: Does anyone in your immediate family have a history of heart attack or diabetes?

Risk factors you CAN control:

  • Do you have diabetes?
  • Do you smoke?
  • High blood pressure: Is your blood pressure greater than 140/90 mmHg?

iStock_000018883609Small

thumbnail

Take Action To Prevent Heart Disease

  • Stay physically active
  • Quit smoking
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Know your numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides)

What are the Symptoms of Heart Disease in Women?

  • Fatigue
  • Chest discomfort, especially with stress or exercise
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid or irregular heart beat
  • Swelling in feet or ankles

How is Heart Disease Diagnosed in Women?

  • Blood tests: Tests may be ordered to determine whether or not your heart has been damaged. Tests also assess your cholesterol levels
  • Echo (echocardiogram): sound waves are used to show pictures of the size & shape of your heart
  • ECG (EKG or electrocardiogram): Looks for electrical problems or damage to your heart
  • Exercise Stress Test: Looks for blockages in your heart arteries. An ECG is done while you walk, if you cannot walk you may be given medicine to mimic exercise
  • Heart Monitor: Portable monitor worn under the clothes. Worn for one to several days. Evaluates heart rhythm problems
  • Cardiac Catheterization: Looks for blockages in your heart arteries that can cause chest pain or heart attacks. is threaded into your heart from a blood vessel in your leg or arm

What Treatments Are Available?

  • Lifestyle Changes: Quit smoking, physicalactivity, heart healthy diet.
  • Controlling blood pressure, diabetes & cholesterol
  • Angioplasty & coronary stenting
  • Cardiac bypass surgery
  • Heart rhythm ablations or pacemakers

Most Heart Disease Is Preventable

  • Ask your doctor about your care or symptoms

Where Can I Get More Information?

Do you know your numbers?

Total Cholesterol: <200 mg/dL

LDL “Bad” Cholesterol:

  • Optimal: <100mg/dL
  • Above Optimal: 100-129 mg/dL
  • Borderline High: 130-159 mg/dL
  • Very High: >190 mg/dL

HDL (“Good”) Cholesterol: 50 mg/dL or higher

Triglycerides:<150 mg/dL

Blood pressure: <120/80 mmHg

Fasting Glucose: <100 mg/dL

Body Mass Index (BMI): <25

Waist Circumference: <35 inches