Unique Heart Health Concerns for Women

If you’re a woman, you should know that you have unique risk factors for heart disease. You’re also at a higher risk of suffering a “silent” heart attack, which occurs without a patient’s knowledge. If you have concerns about your heart health, you can find personalized solutions and compassionate care at The Heart and Vascular Institute at JFK Medical Center.


Millions of women are affected by heart disease. Like men, women can suffer from heart attacks and coronary artery disease (CAD). Compared to men, women are at a higher risk of certain conditions, including coronary microvascular disease (MVD) and broken heart syndrome. MVD is a condition in which the tiny arteries of the heart sustain damage. Broken heart syndrome is also called stress cardiomyopathy. It involves severe heart muscle failure, which is usually temporary, but may become permanent. It’s thought that it is brought on by sudden episodes of severe stress, such as the death of a loved one.

Risk Factors

Men and women both share some of the same risk factors of heart disease. However, certain risk factors can affect women more significantly than men. For example, a woman’s heart health can be more substantially affected by diabetes, depression, mental stress and smoking. Women also have risk factors that men do not. The low levels of estrogen during menopause, for example, are a risk factor of heart disease that is unique to women.

Signs and Symptoms

Another troubling aspect of women’s heart health is the greater potential for a silent heart attack. Men are more likely to experience severe chest pain or pressure that is characteristic of a heart attack, and they are thus more likely to seek emergency care right away. Women are more likely to experience symptoms that aren’t usually associated with a heart attack, such as fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and pain of the jaw or upper back. As a result, they may delay medical care and might only be diagnosed with a heart attack long after it has occurred.

The Heart and Vascular Institute at JFK Medical Center provides exceptional cardiovascular care for women and men in Atlantis.

Our advanced and innovative services include the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (TMVR), Atrial Fibrillation Ablation, Wacthman, Cardiac Electrophysiology, Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) and more. For more information or to request a physician referral, call us 24/7 at 561-548-4JFK (4535) or visit us online at www.JFKMC.com.

Categories: Heart, Women


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