At the Heart of Women's Health Care

When you hear the term "heart disease", what is your first reaction?  Like many women, you may think, "That's a man's disease" or "Not my problem." But here is the "heart" truth: heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States.

Coronary heart disease is the most common form of heart disease. It is a disorder of the blood vessels of the heart that can lead to a heart attack. A heart attack happens when an artery becomes blocked, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. Often referred to simply as heart disease, it is one of several cardiovascular diseases, which are diseases of the heart and blood vessel system. Other cardiovascular disorders include congestive heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, angina (chest pain) and rheumatic heart disease.

Heart disease is a lifelong condition – once you get it, you'll always have it. Procedures such as bypass surgery and angioplasty can help blood and oxygen to flow to the heart more easily, but the arteries remain damaged. In addition, the condition of your blood vessels will steadily worsen unless you make changes in your daily habits. Many women die of complications from heart disease or become permanently disabled. That's why it is so vital to take action to prevent and control this disease.

The information in this site, and consultation with your physician can get you started on the right path to a healthier heart.

A recent survey of women ages 40 to 70 in Monmouth and Ocean counties showed that many women have risk factors but don't consider themselves at risk.

The Survey Found That:

  • Seventy-eight percent of women surveyed qualify as being at risk for a first heart attack, having one or more primary risk factors for heart disease.
  • Only 53 percent of these women considered themselves to be at risk for heart disease or heart attack.

Some More Surprising Facts:

  • One in two women in the United States dies of heart disease or stroke while one in 30 dies of breast cancer.
  • Thirty-eight percent of women will die within one year after having a heart attack.
  • Within six years of having a heart attack, about 46 percent of women become disabled with heart failure.
  • Two-thirds of women who have a heart attack fail to make a full recovery.

The fact is that heart disease can affect anyone. Fortunately, it's a problem you can do something about. This website will help you learn about your own risk of heart disease and take steps to prevent and control it.

For women in midlife, taking action is particularly important. Once a women reaches menopause, her risk of heart disease and heart attack jump dramatically. One in eight women between the ages of 45 and 64 has some form of heart disease, and this increases to one in three women over 65.

Your heart is an amazing pumping machine that continuously delivers oxygenated blood vessels. The average woman's heart beats approximately 100,000 times per day, pumping well over a gallon of blood per minute. When you have heart disease, blood flow to the heart muscle can become restricted or come to a stop – resulting in a heart attack. That's why it's so important to keep your heart healthy and to be able to recognize the symptoms of heart disease, which can be subtle, especially in women.

Older women and those with a family history of heart disease are more at risk.

However, there are six major risk factors that you can do something about:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Being overweight
  • Physical inactivity
  • Diabetes