​Learning More About Cardiovascular Disease May Save Your Life

Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease, and the gap between men's and women's survival continues to widen.

The Women's Heart Center at The Christ Hospital is dedicated to providing women with the information and encouragement they need to lower their heart disease risk, detect early warning signs and receive the highest quality care possible. Below are some resources that can help. If you have specific questions or concerns about your heart health, be sure to ask your doctor.

Learn About INOCA & MINOCA (Ischemia with No Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease & 

Myocardial Infarction with No Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease)

Have you experienced symptoms that suggest artery blockage but were told not to worry because testing did not reveal any problems? If so, be sure to seek a second opinion from an expert in women’s heart health as you may have INOCA or MINOCA. INOCA and MINOCA are more common in women than in men. People with this condition experience symptoms that suggest they have significant blockages in the arteries, such as chest tightness, chest pain, shortness of breath. In fact, their symptoms are caused by other problems with their arteries, not blockages. People with INOCA are at significantly higher risk for a major adverse cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke. Diagnosis and treatment can improve symptoms and quality of life for people with INOCA. Learn more about INOCA.

Many patients with INOCA have coronary microvascular disease (CMD), which is a disease of the heart’s tiny arteries. Others have vasospastic disease, which affects the large arteries of the heart. Functional coronary angiography (FCA) also referred to as coronary reactivity test (CRT) is an imaging procedure that helps doctors diagnose both of these conditions. Learn more.

Learn About Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is an uncommon emergency condition that occurs when a tear forms in a blood vessel in the heart. SCAD can sometimes lead to a heart attack or sudden heart death. Between 80% - 90% of SCAD patients are women and 10% - 40% of all heart attacks in women under the age of 50 are due to SCAD. Often, people with SCAD do not have risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes.  Learn more about SCAD and how to recognize the warning signs.

Learn About Preeclampsia and Heart Disease

Preeclampsia is a condition that affects about 1 in 12 pregnant women. It is characterized by high blood pressure. In addition to causing kidney damage, preeclampsia also increases a woman's risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as developing high blood pressure later in life. Learn more about preeclampsia and heart disease.

Learn How Exercise Can Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease

You can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease by maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle that includes eating right, exercising regularly and avoiding tobacco and nicotine products. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (such as walking) or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity (such as running or swimming), or a combination of both. Learn more about the heart benefits of exercise.

Learn about Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy (AKA Stress Cardiomyopathy or Broken Heart Syndrome)

Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy (or as it's commonly known, broken heart syndrome or stress-induced cardiomyopathy) is heart condition that is triggered by intense emotional or physical stress. TCM can cause sudden chest pains or shortness of breath, often mimicking a heart attack. Learn more about the symptoms, treatments, and risk factors for TCM.

Learn about The Mediterranean Diet and Good Health

A good diet and heart health go hand in hand, which is where the Mediterranean Diet comes in. Traditional Mediterranean diets have high fiber and low saturated fat, which differs from a traditionally American diet. While it's not low in total fat, the Mediterranean Diet emphasizes healthy fats that don't raise cholesterol levels. Staples of the Mediterranean Diet include fish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and many more flavorful options. Learn more about the Mediterranean Diet and how it connects to your heart health.