Women and Heart Health

You’re playing hide and seek with your children. Suddenly, you’re short of breath, you have back pain and you’re sick to your stomach.

What’s happening? According to experts at the LifeBridge Health Cardiovascular Institute, you could be having a heart attack. Surprisingly, especially with women, intense chest pain is not always an indicator of an attack.

While cardiovascular disease is often thought of as a “man’s disease,” it is the number one killer of women, more than all cancers together, and the numbers are sobering.

More than 500,000 women die from cardiovascular disease each year, according to the American Heart Association. One in 2.5 women will lose their lives to heart disease, compared with one in every 30 women who will succumb to breast cancer. Therefore, women, and the people who love them, must be proactive in knowing the risk factors that can cause trouble.

While some heart attacks are sudden, intense and include chest pain, others start slowly, with mild pain or pressure that can disappear and return. Some women may not have any chest pain at all when having a heart attack. They may experience discomfort in the arm, back, neck or jaw. Other warning signs include shortness of breath, nausea and/or unusual and unexplained fatigue.

If you or someone you are with develops chest discomfort, especially with any of the other symptoms, call 9-1-1.

There are things in your control that you can do to try to prevent heart disease. According to the Cardiovascular Institute, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and trying to decrease your stress levels can be helpful. However, sometimes a family history makes you more prone to developing it through no fault of your own, so it’s especially important to see a cardiologist regularly.

In addition, there is a screening called calcium scoring which, along with other factors, can give you important information about plaque build-up in your arteries, which can slow the blood flow to your heart.

Keep your eyes on the Community Calendar on the LifeBridge Health website for information about heart screenings in your area.

For more information about the LifeBridge Health Cardiovascular Institute, call 410-601-WELL (9355).

-Helene King

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

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1 Response

  1. Dear Helene: I totally appreciate your data regarding the real numbers for heart attacks among women. As a Registered Nurse and health educator who has worked in telemetry for five years, I truly appreciate your shared information. In volunteering as a community Health educator in schools, and churches and other community events, I have traveled throughout Maryland and parts of Virginia teaching how to recognize signs of heart attack and stroke among men and women. I can tell you that there are still some wanting to take a "car" to the hospital. I spend my time emphasizing the importance of quick recognition of signs and prompt action in calling 911 as opposed to taking a car to the emergency room. I've also added the importance of keeping a current list of medications for EMS to bring to the ER with the patient. I'm hoping all our joined efforts will make a difference in the future to decrease current statistics for heart attacks among women. Thank you again for sharing such vital information.

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  • #TeamLifeBridge was out in full force in red for #GoRedDay, a national initiative to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke in women. #GoRedWearRed #GoRedForWomen

    lifebridgehealth: "#TeamLifeBridge was out in full force in red for #GoRedDay, a national initiative to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke in women. #GoRedWearRed #GoRedForWomen"
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  • #LifeBridgeHealth CEO Neil Meltzer is proud to #GoRedForWomen to support the prevention of heart disease and stroke. #GoRedWearRed #hearthealthy #womenshealth #❤️

    lifebridgehealth: "#LifeBridgeHealth CEO Neil Meltzer is proud to #GoRedForWomen to support the prevention of heart disease and stroke. #GoRedWearRed #hearthealthy #womenshealth #❤️"
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  • It’s National Wear Red Day! In support of women’s heart health, members of #SinaiHospital were invited to enjoy a heartwarming cup of #hotchocolate this morning. #GoRedWearRed #hearthealthy #womenshealth #TeamLifeBridge

    lifebridgehealth: "It’s National Wear Red Day! In support of women’s heart health, members of #SinaiHospital were invited to enjoy a heartwarming cup of #hotchocolate this morning. #GoRedWearRed #hearthealthy #womenshealth #TeamLifeBridge"
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  • At #LifeBridgeHealth, we are supporting the 'Talking Hands' initiative by spreading the message that '#WeCanICan' take action to help prevent and fight #cancer. #WorldCanerDay.

    lifebridgehealth: "At #LifeBridgeHealth, we are supporting the 'Talking Hands' initiative by spreading the message that '#WeCanICan' take action to help prevent and fight #cancer. #WorldCanerDay."
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  • According to the #AmericanHeartAssociation, heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year. Make your #hearthealth a priority and schedule a prevention check-up today with one of our highly trained physicians by calling, 410.601.7133. ‪#‎WisdomWednesday ‪#‎GoRedWearRed #heart #womenshealth #heartmonth #gored

    lifebridgehealth: "According to the #AmericanHeartAssociation, heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year. Make your #hearthealth a priority and schedule a prevention check-up today with one of our highly trained physicians by calling, 410.601.7133. ‪#‎WisdomWednesday ‪#‎GoRedWearRed #heart #womenshealth #heartmonth #gored"
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  • Get to know #TeamLifeBridge. Meet the members of the #oncology pharmacy at the Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute. This diverse group of individuals is responsible for preparing infusions for children and adults at the outpatient infusion center of the #CancerInstitute. #cancer #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "Get to know #TeamLifeBridge. Meet the members of the #oncology pharmacy at the Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute. This diverse group of individuals is responsible for preparing infusions for children and adults at the outpatient infusion center of the #CancerInstitute. #cancer #LifeBridgeHealth"
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  • On behalf of ‪#‎NorthwestHospital's #breastcancer patients, their families and our employees, we’d like to greatly thank Motorcycle Club Five for their heartfelt generosity to help and support the members of our community who are undergoing treatment and recovery at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Breast Care Center. #MotorcycleClub #GiveBack #Healthcare #Cancer #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "On behalf of ‪#‎NorthwestHospital's #breastcancer patients, their families and our employees, we’d like to greatly thank Motorcycle Club Five for their heartfelt generosity to help and support the members of our community who are undergoing treatment and recovery at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Breast Care Center. #MotorcycleClub #GiveBack #Healthcare #Cancer #LifeBridgeHealth"
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  • Despite the cold outside, Pierre Silva was warmed by his #GivingComfort kit and “all the different compartments” of the knapsack. The Giving Comfort program is a partnership between #LifeBridgeHealth and the @mckessoncorporation to provide patients of the Alvin & Lois Lapidus #Cancer Institute with comfort kits that include items like soft blankets and socks, inspirational messages, books, magazines and more.

    lifebridgehealth: "Despite the cold outside, Pierre Silva was warmed by his #GivingComfort kit and “all the different compartments” of the knapsack. 
The Giving Comfort program is a partnership between #LifeBridgeHealth and the @mckessoncorporation to provide patients of the Alvin & Lois Lapidus #Cancer Institute with comfort kits that include items like soft blankets and socks, inspirational messages, books, magazines and more."
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  • Sinai Community Care truly embraces the "community" in their name, including hosting community events like a #babyshower for first-time mothers from their practice. The shower included classes on breast feeding, safe sleep and child safety. #community #lifebridgehealth #healthcare #baby #motherhood

    lifebridgehealth: "Sinai Community Care truly embraces the "community" in their name, including hosting community events like a #babyshower for first-time mothers from their practice.  The shower included classes on breast feeding, safe sleep and child safety. #community #lifebridgehealth #healthcare #baby #motherhood"
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  • The #LifeBridgeHealth Cardiovascular Institute encourages you to wear red next Friday, February 5, in support of the "Go Red" initiative. This annual campaign from the American Heart Association raises awareness about #heartdisease and #stroke in women. #GoRedWearRed #GoRedForWomen #hearthealthy #heart #❤️

    lifebridgehealth: "The #LifeBridgeHealth Cardiovascular Institute encourages you to wear red next Friday, February 5, in support of the "Go Red" initiative. This annual campaign from the American Heart Association raises awareness about #heartdisease and #stroke in women. #GoRedWearRed #GoRedForWomen #hearthealthy #heart #❤️"
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