Women’s Heart Health

Protect your heart

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year! But heart disease doesn’t affect all women the same way, and the warning signs aren’t always

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Women and Heart Health

Aurora BayCare offers a unique service: heart care designed specifically for women. Heart disease looks different in women – it presents with different symptoms. That’s why it’s important to have specialists who understand the best ways to diagnose and treat female patients.

You can take charge of your health and get proactive about preventing heart disease. Call Aurora BayCare and ask about the Women’s Heart Health program. You’ll be assigned to a care team that includes a cardiologist, a nurse and a nutritionist. Together, your team will help you evaluate your risk and make any necessary lifestyle changes.

Factors that may affect your heart health include:

  • Weight
  • Diabetes
  • Diet
  • Physical activity
  • Smoking
  • Family history

The truth is that even young, athletic people can suffer from heart disease. However, modest changes in your diet and lifestyle can improve your heart health and lower your risk by as much as 80%.

Steps to Women’s Heart Health

Step 1. The first step is a heart health risk assessment. You’ll go over these few simple questions during your visit and review your heart health risk level.

Step 2. From your heart health assessment, your physician will recommend a plan for your heart health. This may include suggestions for diet, exercise, stress management and annual follow-up care.

Step 3. Depending on your risk level, your physician may refer you to the Women’s Heart Health cardiologist for additional tests and evaluation. The cardiologist’s recommendations may then include one or more of the following steps:

  • Nutrition counseling
  • Medication
  • Smoking cessation programs
  • Additional heart screenings

Step 4. The referrals to Women’s Heart Health nutrition and exercise specialists are tailored to your heart health risk, to meet your unique needs. If it turns out you do have heart disease, specialists in the Women’s Heart Program are ready to help. We can help you cope and get you on-track for a heart healthy life.

Why is Heart Disease Different for Women?

Heart disease can hit women harder than men. Why? One theory is that a woman’s physiology (including our smaller arteries and the way fat builds up in our blood vessels) can make it harder to diagnose the disease. What’s worse, this means that when a woman has a heart attack, it can be even more deadly.

Women need to be especially vigilant for signs of heart disease.  Instead of crushing chest pain, you might feel lighter pain, back discomfort and/or shortness of breath, without pain.

The key is early detection. Knowing your risk now increases your ability to prevent heart disease.

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