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Women's Heart Health

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women in the United States. Heart disease can also affect young women – in fact, heart disease is the third most common cause of death for women age 25 to 44 years old. Women are less likely to have classic symptoms of heart disease. Certain types of hormone therapy may increase the risk for heart disease.

What to Watch for with Heart Disease in Women

Signs and symptoms in women may be different or less noticeable than men’s symptoms.

Symptoms that you may experience:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Pain in jaw, arms, or neck
  • Pain in upper abdomen or back
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skipped heart beats
  • Dizziness
  • Passing out or fainting
  • Nausea and or vomiting
  • Extreme fatigue

How to Diagnose Heart Disease in Women

Talk with your primary care physician or cardiologist about your symptoms, risk factors, family history and lifestyle. It’s important to know your numbers: blood pressure and cholesterol. Several tests diagnose possible heart disease, including an EKG, stress testing or cardiac CT scan.

How to Treat Heart Disease in Women

Making healthy lifestyle changes benefits your heart health. Your doctor may recommend medications to help prevent or manage heart disease or procedures to fix blocked arteries.

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Stress management
  • Avoid tobacco
  • Avoid excessive alcohol
  • Medical therapy
    • Blood thinners
    • Blood pressure medications
    • Cholesterol medications
  • Stents
  • Heart surgery