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Women and Heart Disease

Women and Heart Disease

At the Suffolk Heart Group we understand the importance of diagnosing heart disease in women. With some of the best and most experienced cardiologists in New York we offer an unwavering commitment to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease in women.


  • Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) which include heart attacks, coronary artery disease, and strokes, are not just a man’s disease. Women are also at risk of dying of heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American women and not cancer, like many believe, and twice as many women die from heart disease than men each year.
  • Studies have shown that women are more likely to have their heart disease diagnosis delayed. One of the contributing factors could be that if stress is a factor, symptoms could be misdiagnosed as psychological. Another is that women might experience different symptoms than your “classic heart attack” symptoms. Some of these might include: shoulder or neck pain, stomach upset, and/or unusual tiredness.
  • One in three women has some form of cardiovascular disease.
  • CVD was the first listed diagnosis for over 3 million women discharged from short-stay hospitals in 2006.
  • Death rates for CVD are higher in black women than white women.
  • This year, an estimated 515,000 women will have a new and recurrent myocardial infarction (MI or heart attack) and fatal coronary artery disease which is a narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart.
  • 64% of women who died suddenly had no previous symptoms.

Risk Factors

There are many risk factors for CVD and the more risk factors you have, the higher your chances of having an MI or stroke are. Some factors are not controllable, but others can be modified or even prevented, which lowers your risk of having heart disease.

Uncontrollable Risk Factors

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Increasing age
  • Family history of CVD
  • Previous history of MI or stroke

Modifiable or Preventable Risk Factors

  • Tobacco use
  • High blood pressure (also known as hypertension)
  • High cholesterol
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity or overweight
  • Diabetes

What You Can Do

  • Exercise: Doing moderate physical exercise 4-5 days a week for at least 30 minutes a day can help you lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, and increase physical and cardiovascular fitness and can lower your risk of getting diabetes.
  • Healthy diet: Consuming nutrient-rich foods that have fibers, minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients like fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products.

Get Screened!

The Suffolk Heart Group specializes in the screening and treatment of women and cardiovascular disease. Since the majority of women who have cardiovascular disease never have symptoms (chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations) it is important to be proactive and get screened. When women do have symptoms of heart disease they might be misdiagnosed because their symptoms are different from men (back pain, neck pain, sweating, stomach pain, nausea, arm pain). Suffolk Heart group has some of Long Island’s best cardiologists with a special interest in women and heart disease. Call today to make an appointment for screening.


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