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7 Heart Health Facts Every Woman Should Know

Friday, February 01, 2019 7:59 AM

Heart health shouldn’t just be a topic of discussion in February; it’s a disease that women suffer from every day. Dr. Philip Krause, NorthShore Cardiologist, recently addressed many of the questions women have surrounding their heart health in a chat, and provides more insight below into the facts everyone should know:

How many women suffer from heart disease each year?
44 million women are affected by heart disease in the USA.

What are some of the most common misconceptions that people have about women’s heart health?
The most common misconception about women’s heart health is the myth that coronary artery disease mostly affects men. In fact, heart disease is the #1 cause of death for American women.

Can women who are regularly active and have a balanced diet still be at risk?
Women who are active can still be at risk for heart disease due to risk factors such as:

  • Family history
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol

What preventative steps can women take in their everyday lives to decrease their risk for heart disease?
Preventive steps to decrease risk include modification of risk factors and following a heart healthy diet. Also, women should see their physician to assess risk and obtain cholesterol profile. They may be candidates for stress testing.

What symptoms should women be aware of that indicate a possible heart problem?
Classic symptoms of heart disease include chest pressure, tightness, a squeezing sensation in the chest or it can be atypical including shortness of breath, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, nausea or change in exercise tolerance.

How do genetics impact women and heart health? Should women get tested?
Genetics can impact women in that family history of premature coronary disease is a significant risk factor. NorthShore offers genetic screening and testing for these potential heart problems through the Center for Personalized Medicine

What is NorthShore doing to educate and treat women for heart conditions? 
We have a number of women's hearth health initiatives and lectures to educate the community.