Heart Health for Women
Most women think that cancer is their leading killer. But they're wrong. It's heart disease. In fact, each year, nearly twice as many women die of cardiovascular disease as from all forms of cancer combined. Our Lady of the Lake Heart Center can help.
In an effort to prevent heart disease, Our Lady of the Lake is partnering with American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to bring the "My Heart, My Life" program to our patients, guests, team members, and the community. The initiative includes onsite walking paths, teaching gardens, a heart walk, and other healthy initiatves that will be implemented during the first year of the program. Learn more about OLOL's initiative and get information on our walking paths.
Talking to Your Doctor About Heart Health
- Ask your doctor to conduct a thorough assessment of your heart, including determining your total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglyceride and glucose levels. Get a copy of these results, as well as your weight and blood pressure, and formulate a plan with your doctor to reach your goals.
- Ask your primary care doctor or OB/GYN to talk with you about your risk factors for heart disease each year. If you have one or more risk factors, ask if you should have an electrocardiograph or exercise stress test.
- Tell your doctor about any personal or family history of heart disease.
- Ask your doctor to review heart attack symptoms during your annual checkup. Discuss them with your friends and family, along with the importance of calling 911 if these symptoms occur.
- If you have symptoms-even if they are vague and you think they may not be serious-make an appointment to see your primary care doctor.
- Be assertive. Make sure your concerns are heard.
- If you feel that your doctor is not taking your symptoms seriously, tell him or her to please listen to what you are saying.
- Seek help if you need to lose weight and/or quit smoking. Our Cardiac Rehabilitation Center or other community programs can offer support and guidance.
- Make sure you understand any medications or special instructions that your doctor has given you, including when you need to have follow-up tests.
- Ask to be referred to a cardiologist if your symptoms do not improve or if you are concerned and want a second opinion.
- Always get a second opinion if you are not satisfied with your care or if you feel your symptoms are not being taken seriously.
Recognize the Symptoms of a Heart Attack
Any of the following "classic" heart attack symptoms may occur in both women and men:
- Squeezing chest pain or pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in chest
- Pain spreading to shoulders, neck or arms
Some symptoms are more likely and common in women:
If You Are Experiencing Symptoms That Could Be a Signal of a Heart Attack
- Call 911. Getting to the emergency room as quickly as possible will help minimize the damage to your heart.
- Take an aspirin at the first sign of heart attack symptoms.
If You've Had a Heart Attack
With a little effort, you have the potential to add years to your life.
If you are at risk for or have a family history of heart problems, it's important that you consult a doctor who specializes in heart care to determine your best plan of care for a healthy life. Find a cardiologist today.