Heart Health for Women

Heart Health for WomenMore women die of cardiovascular disease than from the next four causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer. CHI St. Alexius Health Heart & Lung Clinic is dedicated to preventing and treating this number one killer of women.

Many controllable risk factors affect one’s risk of heart disease, stroke and metabolic syndrome.

They include:

  • smoking
  • high blood pressure
  • high blood cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • being overweight or obese
  • physical inactivity

Heart Attack Risk Assessment
A risk calculator is an easy to use tool designed to help individuals assess their risk of having a heart attack or dying from coronary heart disease in the next 10 years. It's important to measure one’s risk of heart disease and make a plan for how to prevent it in the near future.

It will also check to see if a person may have metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that greatly increase one’s chances of developing cardiovascular disease, including stroke and diabetes. This risk calculator, designed by the American Heart Association, can be used by people age 20 or older who do not already have heart disease or diabetes. To calculate your risk click here.

After finishing using the tool, please print a copy of the risk assessment results, risk factor summary report, metabolic syndrome assessment and action plans for those areas where risk needs to be reduced.

Partnering for Better Heart Health
CHI St. Alexius Health is proud to partner with organizations that share our passion for improving women’s heart health. Annually, CHI St. Alexius Health takes part in the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women day and participates in a regional treadmill challenge to promote heart-healthy, active lifestyles. We envision a future in which friends and family live free of heart disease and stroke. CHI St. Alexius Health Heart & Lung believes that future starts today by encouraging prevention habits and providing faster, more effective responses to heart attacks.

Heart Attack Symptoms for Women
Along with several specifically female risk factors, the heart attack symptoms differ between men and women. Women are more likely to have symptoms outside of the chest pain symptom. 

These other signs of a heart attack include:

  • Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Right arm pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Unusual fatigue

These symptoms are much more subtle than the crushing chest pain often associated with heart attacks. Particularly because blockages occur often in the smaller arteries as well as the main arteries in women (microvascular disease), there is a sense of overall chest tightness, rather than intense pain. Women’s symptoms occur more often when women are resting or even sleeping.Prevent Heart Disease in Women

Women tend to show up in emergency rooms after heart damage has already occurred because their symptoms are not those typically associated with a heart attack and because women may downplay their symptoms. If you experience these symptoms or think you're having a heart attack, call for emergency medical help immediately.

To reduce the risk of heart disease, there are several lifestyle changes to focus on.

  • Exercise for 30-60 minutes three or more times a week
  • Know your family history
  • Quit smoking
  • Control diabetes
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet
  • Practice relaxation and reduce stress
  • Maintain a healthy body weight

Make an appointment with a Heart & Lung Cardiologist. Simply go online or call (701) 530-7502 today!