Have a heart to heart with one of our cardiologists

At the Lankenau Heart Institute just minutes from the city of Philadelphia, our cardiac experts understand the unique heart health needs of women and are proud to feature a team of thirteen female cardiologists. From prevention and diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation, when it comes to matters of the heart, a woman’s insight is invaluable.

According to the American Heart Association, one in every three women die each year of heart disease—yet only 44 percent of women are aware of this fact.

Women's Heart Initiative is a comprehensive health care program specifically dedicated to education and awareness about women's heart care. The goal is to empower women to Learn, Act, and Live—to help women recognize the warning signs of heart disease and encourage them to have open discussions with their physicians about their heart care.

Heart disease a number one killer of women

Cardiovascular disease is NOT just a man’s disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of women over the age of 25 in the United States, regardless of race or ethnicity, causing more deaths than all types of cancer combined. In many cases, heart disease is preventable. Taking care of our hearts begins with knowledge and awareness, followed by desire and supporting action.

Heart risk assessment specifically for women, designed by women

The team of female cardiologists at Lankenau Heart Institute have developed a heart risk assessment tool, specifically for women. This heart risk assessment is based on the February 2011 American Heart Association’s Women and Heart Disease guidelines. It provides a score which relates to a woman’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) and is intended to identify high-risk women for primary prevention. Complete this quick heart risk assessment to discover important information about your cardiovascular health and unique risk factors—and start a discussion with your health care provider. It’s never too early to start taking care of your heart!

Download the heart risk assessment (PDF)

Know your numbers

Knowing your numbers and what they mean, makes you better prepared to talk with your doctor, ask the right questions, and clearly understand whether you’re at risk. It also allows you to be an advocate for your own health and can help you take the right steps to protect your heart.

  • Cholesterol
  • Triglycerides
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar
  • Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference

Along with the known risk factors like family history, high cholesterol, diet and other lifestyle behaviors, we are seeing a new trend in women having heart risk factors related to pregnancy (such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes), menopause, auto immune conditions, even cancer treatment, which are unique to women and are becoming increasingly relevant when assessing risk for heart disease.

Preventive screening tests

There are many heart health screening tests available. Please talk to your health care provider to see which tests are right for you.

Heart attack symptoms unique to women

Experts say most women are so busy taking care of those around them they fail to take care of themselves and often ignore symptoms of heart attack. The most common symptom is some type of pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest, but it’s not always severe or even the most prominent symptom. Sometimes women may have a heart attack without chest pain. Women are more likely than men to have heart attack symptoms unrelated to chest pain, such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Right arm pain
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Unusual fatigue

In many cases, heart disease is preventable. Taking care of our hearts begins with knowledge and awareness, followed by desire and supporting action.

Cardiovascular clinical trials at Main Line Health

Main Line Health uses clinical trials to help prevent, diagnose and treat the full range of heart and vascular conditions. Together we strive for a future that includes earlier detection of heart disease in women and women-centric research to help improve treatments and outcomes. Learn more about the cardiovascular clinical trials currently being offered by our renowned cardiologists and heart and vascular surgeons.

To schedule an appointment with a Lankenau Heart Institute specialist, call 484.476.3WHI (3944) or use our secure online appointment request form.