What Every Woman Should Know About Heart Health

What Every Woman Should Know About Heart Health

One American dies from heart disease every 36 seconds. It’s the leading cause of death in the United States, and it impacts men and women of every race.

Heart disease, also called cardiovascular disease, is a group of conditions that impact your heart’s ability to do its job. It develops when your blood vessels get narrow or blocked, making your heart work harder to send blood throughout your body.

Having heart disease increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, and death — but the symptoms and warning signs of these conditions are often different in men and women. If you’re a woman, it’s important to learn more about your heart and how to take care of it throughout your life.

Kunal Patel, MD, and our team at NJ Cardiovascular Institute partner with women of all ages to promote heart health. We specialize in diagnosing and treating heart disease, and today we’re taking a closer look at things every woman needs to know about her heart health.

Your risk for heart disease

Heart disease is very common, but it doesn’t always have obvious warning signs. To protect your heart health, it’s important to learn your risk of developing heart disease and check in with your doctor regularly.

Some factors increase your risk of heart disease, no matter your gender. These risk factors are:

Some risk factors carry more weight depending on your gender and could contribute to heart disease more often in women than in men. If you’re a woman, some factors that could make you more likely to develop heart disease are:

If you have risk factors for heart disease, schedule a cardiology consultation at NJ Cardiovascular Institute. Dr. Patel specializes in comprehensive evaluations to test for heart disease and personalized treatment plans to boost your well-being.

Signs of heart conditions in women vs. men

Having heart disease increases your risk of experiencing a life-threatening heart condition like heart attack or stroke. Unfortunately, about two-thirds of women who die from heart disease had no obvious symptoms beforehand.

Heart disease and other heart conditions often go undiagnosed in women, and cardiac emergencies can cause different symptoms in women than in men.

The signs of heart attack in women may include:

The signs of stroke in women can include:

Learning to recognize the signs of heart attack and stroke in women could help save your life or the life of someone close to you. Seek immediate medical attention or call 911 if you or someone you know experiences these symptoms.

Ways to keep your heart healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among American women, but there’s a lot you can do to protect your heart and improve your health. Dr. Patel and our team work with you to identify risk factors that you can change, like your activity level, diet, and tobacco use.

Our Heart Smart Program is here to help you learn ways to improve your wellness. Depending on your health, we recommend regular exercise and healthy eating to help you reach or maintain a healthy weight.

If you have an underlying condition like high blood pressure, managing it can help lower your risk of developing complications. Proactively addressing other health concerns, including stress levels, can also help lower your risk of long-term heart problems.

Keep up with regular doctor’s appointments and primary care visits. Even if you don’t have signs of a heart condition now, preventive care is the best way to identify and address changes before they get worse.

As a woman, you should never overlook your heart health. Schedule an appointment with us at one of our four New Jersey offices. Book online or over the phone today.

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