Women and Heart Disease

Women Are at Risk For Heart Disease, Don’t Ignore Symptoms

"I thought I was short of breath and tired because I had gained a lot of weight." 

Nancy Branyas, Cardiologist and St.Vincent Director of the Women’s Cardiac Risk Clinic says, “Women need to recognize that heart disease is their primary killer, more than all cancers combined.”

It's vital to know your numbers

  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Lipid profile (cholesterol)
  • Blood sugars
  • Blood Pressure

Then do something about them.


Women's Cardiac Risk Clinic

The Women's Cardiac Risk Clinic run by a team of female cardiologists will identify and help you manage the risk factors. This clinic located at the St.Vincent Carmel Women's Center provides the initial cardiac assessment, diagnostic testing (EKG), physical exam and the creation of an individualized action plan to modify risk factors including a Quit Smoking Program. With patient support and education in diet and exercise habits, the Women's Center and the St.Vincent Heart Center has many resources for all types of heart disease.

Women's Center

Our cardiac wellness concept has be part of St.Vincent Health since 1995. Now, the Women’s Heart Risk Clinic is offering women and heart disease expertise alongside of other disciplines in one location: OB/GYN, Bone Health, Breast Care, Digestive Health, Internal Medicine, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Neurology, OB/GYN, Pelvic Health, Urogynecology and Vein Solutions.

A Women's-Focused Cardiac Assessment.

It takes a cardiologist-led wellness program to do a comprehensive cardiac assessment. Women are often the nurturers and caregivers in the family -- the rock that others rely on. "If you notice a change in what you can do physically, you need to be evaluated," says Dr. Branyas. "Let us give you the tools."

We have heard it before, symptoms of a heart attack are different in men than women. Classic signs of women and heart disease are:

  • Mid-chest pressure (not pain)
  • Radiating pain to the jaw  or left shoulder
  • Shortness of breath and nausea

Atypical symptoms (seen in diabetic women in particular) are shortness of breath just when you climb a flight of steps, or unexplained fatigue and a sudden onset of nausea.

The St.Vincent Heart Center physicians specializing in women and heart disease have a lot of experience recognizing the importance of these symptoms and possible association to heart disease and stroke. That experience extends to identifying the best treatments (non-surgical and surgical) that have better results in women of all ages.


Next Steps

The time for prevention is now.

St.Vincent cardiologists remind women prevention starts now - not when we are 70. Changing the trend means women need to know first, if they have heart risk factors, and second, what that might mean for the future of your heart and vascular health.