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Women's Body Health

Heart Disease

Heart disease affects millions of women. We are here to help.

Heart Disease affects Women

While heart disease is often thought of as a disease that mostly affects men, it also affects millions of women. 

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over the past decade heart disease has affected around the same number of women as it did men. As the leading cause of death for women in the US, it affects 1 in 4 females and can even strike when there are no previous symptoms.

As experts in all things related to heart disease and women’s health, we are here to advise, support and treat those who are at risk in a sympathetic, understanding and effective way.

Doctor using stethoscope on patient

ChristianaCare Cardiology Consultants now offers expert heart care just for women at seven locations in Delaware and one in Pennsylvania.

Call 302-623-1929 to schedule an appointment.            

Risks and Symptoms

Know Your Risk Factors

Some heart disease risk factors are the same for both men and women; however, some are unique to women who can have the following risk factors:

  • High cholesterol – High LDL (low-density lipoproteins) leads to plaque build-up in arteries.
  • High blood pressure – Keep it under 120/80.
  • Obesity and inactivity – Some research indicates that women are less active than men.
  • Diabetes – Women are at greater risk than men if they have diabetes.
  • Mental stress and depression – Studies show that women’s hearts are affected by stress and depression more than men’s.
  • Smoking – This is another risk factor that puts women at greater risk than men for heart disease.
  • Post-menopausal women are at an increased risk - They not only develop coronary blockages in their surface arteries but also in the small vessels that supply the heart.
  • Pregnancy complications, including high blood pressure and diabetes – While temporary during pregnancy, mothers who had these complications may have a higher risk of developing them long term, thus increasing their risk of developing heart disease.

Source: Mayo Clinic and the American Heart Association.

Heart Attack: Know the Signs

Women’s heart attack symptoms are often different than men’s. Women are more likely to experience:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It may last more than a few minutes, or it can go away and come back
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Back or jaw pain

If you have any of these symptoms, don’t take chances. Call 911 immediately and get to a hospital.


Programs in the Community

ChristianaCare works hard to raise awareness of this significant public health issue. Through community education, lectures and targeted programs that are teaching women to recognize the risk factors for heart disease in themselves and others, we hope to reduce the incidence of heart disease among women in our community.

For women and their families, our heart health programs include:

  • Dance Your Heart Out — Each March, we hold this fun event to get the whole family moving.
  • Mended Hearts — This support group helps people understand that there can be a rich, rewarding life after a diagnosis of heart disease.
  • WomenHeart of New Castle County — Dedicated to community education and patient support for women at-risk of heart disease, this group meets regularly to discuss heart health and share information and resources.
  • Women’s Health Lecture Series — Free lectures by experts from ChristianaCare on heart health and a range of other important and interesting health topics. Check our calendar of events frequently to learn about upcoming lectures and programs.

Find Your Provider

Use the link to see all providers for your specific needs.

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