Women's Heart Health
Expert Women’s Cardiac Care
Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death among women in the U.S., more deadly than all forms of cancer combined, according to The American Heart Association. Taking care of your heart is vital to minimizing your risks for heart disease or managing the condition if you’ve been diagnosed.
Why Choose Carondelet for Your Heart?
The expert heart care at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital and Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital has earned us awards from several national organizations for performance excellence in the treatment of cardiovascular conditions:
- Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital and Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital are certified by The Joint Commission.
- Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital and the Carondelet Neurological Institute at Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital have been honored by the American Heart Association /American Stroke Association as recipients of the Get with the Guidelines’ Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for the quality of their heart and stroke care.
- Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital was selected by The Joint Commission as one of the top performing hospitals in the nation for quality and safety in their care of stroke.
- The Breast Center at St. Mary’s Hospital is fully accredited with the National Accreditation for Breast Centers.
- Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital, Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital and Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute received national accreditation as Chest Pain Centers from the Society for Cardiovascular Patient Care.
- Carondelet St. Joseph’s, Carondelet St. Mary’s and Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute are designated by the Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of EMS and Trauma System, as Cardiac Arrest Centers.
- The Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation programs at St. Joseph’s Hospital are nationally certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.
Risk Factors to Know
In addition to risk factors you can’t control, such as family history, common controllable causes of heart disease include:
- Poor diet
- Chronic conditions
Conditions such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol that can cause heart disease are treatable by your doctor. Treatment often involves lifestyle changes or medication. Preventing a heart disease begins with:
- Understanding heart disease
- Knowing symptoms of a heart attack for women
- Getting an annual physical and talking to your doctor
- Managing your individual risks (Top tips: Don’t smoke and exercise 30+ minutes/day)
Heart Attack Symptoms for Women
When it comes to conditions affecting the heart, women experience symptoms that are very different and subtler than those experienced by men. Although chest pain is a common symptom during a heart attack in both men and women, a substantial number of women do not experience any chest pain during a heart attack. Here are some common symptoms in women who experience a heart attack:
Before a Heart Attack
- Unusual tiredness
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the shoulder blade or upper back
During a Heart Attack
- Pain in the chest
- Pain in the mid-back, neck or jaw
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Unusually fast heartbeat
- Difficulty digesting food
Your chance of surviving a heart attack greatly increases if you’re treated within the first hour of when it begins. Many heart attack patients — especially women — wait two hours or more after their symptoms begin before they seek medical help. This delay can result in death or long-lasting heart damage. This is one of the reasons women tend to experience worse outcomes after a heart attack than men.
Learning to recognize symptoms will help you get the treatment you need fast — and may even save your life.
For more information about heart health, or to schedule an appointment with a heart specialist near you, call Carondelet Heart and Vascular Institute at St. Mary’s at (520) 696-2484 or Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital at (520) 873-3000.