As the lead cardiologist at CardiacIQ, I’m Dr. Lauren Boglioli, and I’m dedicated to advancing women’s heart health.

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death among women, yet its presence is frequently unrecognized until it becomes critical. This oversight partly stems from the unique characteristics of women’s hearts compared to men’s, influencing how heart disease develops and alters the manifestation of heart attack symptoms in women.

Contrary to popular belief, heart attacks don’t always present as dramatic chest pain. In fact, for many women, the signs of a heart attack can be subtle and markedly different. This is precisely why it’s crucial for women to be educated about their heart health – knowing what symptoms to look out for and how to nurture their heart is essential.

Explore my comprehensive list of the top 10 insights every woman should have about her heart health.

1. Understanding Heart Attack Symptoms

Heart Anatomy

Women often experience heart attack symptoms differently than men, including discomfort in the chest that isn’t necessarily overwhelming, pain in the upper body, shortness of breath, cold sweats, nausea, and profound fatigue. Recognizing these signs and seeking immediate medical attention is vital.

2. The Importance of Smoking Cessation

Smoking significantly increases the risk of heart disease in women. Quitting this habit, despite its challenges, is crucial for heart health.

3. Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Excess weight, especially around the abdomen, can increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Striving for a healthy weight reduces the heart’s workload and the risk of insulin resistance.

4. Regular Physical Activity

Engaging in regular exercise, such as brisk walking for 30 minutes most days, can reduce the risk of a heart attack by up to 50%. Physical activity is a powerful tool for maintaining heart health.

Read our blog below to learn 3 exercises you can do to improve your heart health.

5. Monitoring Health Metrics

Keeping track of blood glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure is essential. Ideal levels include blood glucose under 100, LDL cholesterol below 100, HDL cholesterol above 50, and blood pressure below 130/85.

Learn what Heart Tests will help you reduce Heart Disease risk.

6. Diabetes and Heart Disease

Women with diabetes have a higher risk of developing heart disease. Regular screening for diabetes and managing blood sugar levels are crucial.

7. Managing Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can lead to heart disease. Lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet like the DASH diet, can help lower blood pressure.

8. Aspirin Therapy

Discuss with your doctor whether taking aspirin is right for you. Aspirin can help prevent heart attacks in some patients but is not suitable for everyone.

9. Reducing Stress

Stress management is important for heart health. Techniques like exercise, meditation, and maintaining a gratitude list can effectively reduce stress.

10. Knowing Your Family History

Heart disease can be hereditary. Understanding your family’s heart health history and discussing it with your doctor can provide insights into your own heart health risks.

 
A revealing 2017 research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology highlighted a concerning gap in awareness: nearly half of the women surveyed were not aware that heart disease is the foremost cause of mortality among their gender. This lack of awareness was even more pronounced among women from lower educational and income backgrounds, as well as among ethnic minorities. Alarmingly, about 71 percent of these women had not discussed heart health concerns with their primary care physicians.

In light of these findings, it’s evident that there is a critical need for increased education and dialogue about heart health, particularly among women. As a dedicated cardiologist at CardiacIQ, I, Dr. Lauren Boglioli, am committed to bridging this gap in awareness and understanding. I encourage women from all walks of life to prioritize their heart health and to engage in open conversations with healthcare professionals about their cardiac well-being.

If you’re seeking expert guidance and compassionate care for your heart health, I invite you to visit us at CardiacIQ. Together, we can work towards a healthier heart and a brighter future. Don’t let statistics define your health journey; take the first step towards empowerment and schedule your appointment today.

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