Heart and Vascular Institute – Women and Heart Disease
Penn State Health Heart and Vascular Institute is proud to partner with the American Heart Association Capital Region as the Go Red for Women sponsor!
Learn more about the American Heart Association and Go Red for Women.
The facts are startling—heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. Annually, one in three deaths is caused by some form of heart disease.
Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of heart disease that women experience can be more subtle than what men experience and may not be recognized as dangerous warning signs.
Symptoms that women should be aware of include:
- Pain the neck, back, jaw or arm,
- Shortness of breath or fatigue,
- Nausea or lightheadedness,
- Discomfort in the center of the chest and
- Sweating profusely.
If you experience these symptoms, talk with your health care provider and seek treatment.
- The Medical Minute: Understanding high blood pressure helps avoid complications
- The Medical Minute: Detecting the subtle signs fo heart disease in women
It is important for women, and men alike, to understand their personal risk for developing heart disease. Have regular conversations with your physician about your risk factors.
Risk factors for developing heart disease include:
- High blood pressure,
- High cholesterol,
- Lack of physical activity,
- History of smoking and
- Family history of heart disease.
Check your risk factors with this risk calculator.
Opportunities to modify risk factors include adding physical activity to your daily routine, quitting smoking and eating a healthy diet, filled with lean protein, fruits, vegetables and fiber and watching the amount of added sodium, fat and cholesterol in your diet.