Women & Heart Disease

Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, claiming more lives every year than all forms of cancer combined? Largely preventable through diet and lifestyle choices, heart disease can be detected early and managed to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Heart Hospital of Lafayette is here to help keep women’s hearts as healthy as possible.

According to the American Heart Association, up to 80% of cardiac events in women could be prevented if women made the right choices for their hearts, including proper diet, exercise and quitting smoking:

  • Regular, moderate exercise, at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week, is an important step every woman can take towards heart health. Exercise doesn’t have to be expensive or treacherous – just walking 30 minutes a day is a great first step.
  • Healthy eating habits can help reduce risk factors for heart attack and stroke, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and excess body weight. Choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. Drink water instead of soda. Substitute raw vegetables for high-calorie snacks. Small, simple changes can make a big difference for your heart.
  • Smoking is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States. If you smoke, quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. When you stop smoking, no matter how long or how much you've smoked, your risk of heart disease and stroke is cut in half after one year without smoking, and continues to decline until it's as low as a nonsmoker's risk. No more ifs, ands or butts about it – quit smoking now for a healthier heart.

Are You at Risk?

Risk factors for heart disease, in men or women, include:

  • Family history of heart disease
  • Age
  • High blood pressure
  • Unhealthy cholesterol levels
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Excess weight
  • Lack of exercise
  • Negative emotions, such as stress or anger
  • Metabolic syndrome

Know the Signs of a Heart Attack

The signs of a heart attack are often different for women, and may include:

  • Discomfort, aching, tightness or in the back, abdomen, arm, shoulder, neck, jaw or chest. Pain may be constant or come and go.
  • Feeling more fatigued than usual, for no apparent reason.
  • Becoming breathless during activities that are usually easy.
  • Heartburn, nausea or a burning feeling unrelated to food.

If you experience one or more of these signs or symptoms, call 911 immediately.

Heart Hospital of Lafayette – Every Woman’s Heart Hospital

As a hospital dedicated to cardiac care, the prevention and treatment of heart disease is at the core of our mission. We understand the specific risk factors, signs and symptoms of heart disease in women and approach every patient with care and understanding. If you have a history of heart disease in your family, or have any of the above risk factors, Heart Hospital of Lafayette is your best choice for quality patient care.

Read more information about Women and Heart Disease here.