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Women's Heart Health

Women embrace many roles, but one of the most important ones should be caring for themselves. With heart disease as a significant health concern for women, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet and reducing stress are all recommended as preventative measures. 

At USF Health, our cardiology team provides specialized care for women with cardiac conditions, as well as preventative measures for those with family histories.  

We also offer highly specialized programs for women:

Postpartum Heart Health Program: We treat women who experience complications during pregnancy who can be at higher risk to develop a cardiovascular problem.  
Cardio Oncology Program:  We specialize in identifying women at risk of heart disease, which includes both a physical and a breast cancer treatment history.
Women’s Hormone and Menopause Program: We provide specialized care of women who are at a higher risk for heart disease and are also looking for care of their menopause symptoms.
Heart Attack Prevention Program: We provide women with non-invasive heart attack prevention testing and make recommendations for our healthier lifestyle that reduces the risk of heart attacks.

Women and Heart Attacks
Every 43 seconds, someone in the United States experiences a heart attack.  Heart disease is the number one killer of women in America.  Awareness of heart attacks and warning symptoms are vital for women to know. 

According to the American Heart Association, some women experience many of the common symptoms of heart attack, while other women show no symptoms before or during their heart attack.

The symptoms of cardiac arrest in women are slightly different than in men. Women may experience chest pain, but many say it feels more like indigestion, and so they don’t typically seek medical assistance. 

This variation can add confusion when women go the emergency room – that’s why it’s important for women to ask in the ER for an EKG test or an enzyme blood test to confirm whether or not they are having a heart attack. 

Typical symptoms of a heart attack in women:
  • Discomfort, tightness,uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes, or comes and goes
  • Crushing chest pain
  • Pressure or pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck, upper back, jaw, or arms
  • Dizziness or nausea
  • Clammy sweats, heart flutters, or paleness
  • Unexplained feelings of anxiety, fatigue or weakness - especially with exertion
  • Stomach or abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing 

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