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Wellness Watch - Women's Heart Health

Many people think of heart disease as a health issue that primarily affects men, but heart disease is also the number one killer in women. In 2020, heart disease killed more than 314,000 women in the United States. That’s about 20% of all female deaths that year.

Signs of a heart attack may be slightly different in women. Chest pain or pressure is the most common symptom of a heart attack in both women and men, but women are more likely to experience these symptoms as well:

  • Pain in the back or jaw
  • Abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting
  • Unexplained fatigue

Symptoms can be more subtle than you might expect, so you should always take these symptoms seriously. A heart attack occurs when blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart is severely reduced or completely cut off. Any delay in care could result in more serious damage to the heart muscle or even death.

Phoebe cardiologist Dr. Rachel Harris has some tips to keep your heart healthy and shows you how eating healthy may be easier than you think.

Heart-Healthy Recipe

Italian Caprese Avocado Toast​ - Avocado on toast topped with traditional caprese salad ingredients makes for a quick, healthy start to the day.

The American Heart Association is a great resource for healthy eating information. Check out their tips and recipes here:

Risk Factors for Heart Disease

  • High blood pressure
  • High LDL cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Unhealthy eating
  • Physical inactivity
  • Drinking too much alcohol

For more information on heart health in women, visit these websites: