What are the signs of heart disease in women?

  • Heartistry Online ToolUncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the chest lasting more than a few minutes
  • Jaw pain radiating down to neck, arm
  • Paleness
  • Indigestion/upper abdominal pain
  • Short of breath with mild exertion
  • Chronic fatigue without reason
  • Racing or irregular heart beat
  • Heart palpitations—very strong or fast
  • Unexplained perspiration/cold sweat
  • Lightheadedness, fainting, dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Lower back pain without apparent cause

What can I do?

  • Talk to your physician about your risk factors
  • Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke
  • Aerobic exercise 30 minutes 5-7 days each week
  • Adopt a low fat diet with less than 30% of calories from fat and consume more than 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
  • Keep your blood pressure under 120/80
  • Have your cholesterol level checked, keep levels in healthy range:
    • Total <200 and HDL >50
  • Discuss the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with your physician
  • Develop strategies to adapt to stress

The Karen Yontz Women’s Cardiac Awareness Center is located at Aurora St Luke’s Medical Center and the Aurora Women’s Pavilion. Each site has a comprehensive library and resource center with personal programs and services dedicated to increasing “awareness” and prevention of heart disease in women.

Individualized programs based upon a woman’s clinical needs and personal preferences are available to assist women identifying and controlling their risk of heart disease.