Heart disease in women has somewhat different symptoms, risk factors, and treatment compared to heart disease in men. Many women and health professionals are not aware of the risk factors for heart disease in women and may delay diagnosis and treatment. Lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, tobacco use, overweight/obesity, stress, alcohol consumption, and depression influence heart disease risk in women. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes also increase women's risk of heart disease. Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG), stress-ECG, endothelial testing, ankle-brachial index (ABI), echocardiogram, nuclear imaging, electron beam CT, and lab tests to assess blood lipids and biomarkers of inflammation are used to diagnose heart disease. Early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease in women saves lives. Heart disease can be prevented and reversed with lifestyle changes. Read more: Heart Disease in Women Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Stroke Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take the Stroke Quiz to learn about stroke risks, causes, treatment, and most importantly, prevention....
Heart Disease Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take our Heart Disease Quiz to get answers and facts about high cholesterol, atherosclerosis prevention, and the causes,...
Heart Disease: Symptoms, Signs, and Causes
What is heart disease (coronary artery disease)? Learn about the causes of heart disease. Symptoms of heart disease include chest...
Lower Your Cholesterol, Save Your Heart
Need to lower your cholesterol levels? Use these smart diet tips to quickly and easily lower your blood cholesterol levels....
Stroke Causes, Symptoms, and Recovery
What is a stroke? Learn about stroke symptoms like sudden numbness or weakness, confusion, vision problems, or problems with...
Heart Disease: Causes of a Heart Attack
Learn about heart disease and heart attack symptoms and signs of a heart attack in men and women. Read about heart disease...
IMAGESSee a detailed medical illustration of the heart plus our entire medical gallery of human anatomy and physiology See Images
Related Disease Conditions
Angina (Symptoms, Causes, Types, Diagnosis, and Treatment)
Angina is chest pain due to inadequate blood supply to the heart. Angina symptoms may include chest tightness, burning,...
Aortic Valve Stenosis (Symptoms, Causes, Surgery)
Aortic valve stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the aortic valve of the heart. The causes of aortic stenosis are wear and tear...
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Symptoms, ECG, and Treatment Medications
Atrial fibrillation (AF or AFib) is an abnormality in the heart rhythm which involves irregular and often rapid beating of the...
Cholesterol (Lowering Your Cholesterol)
High cholesterol and triglyceride levels increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Getting your cholesterol and triglyceride...
Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one...
Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are...
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Signs, Causes, Diet, and Treatment
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million...
A heart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart...
Marfan syndrome is hereditary (genetic) condition affecting connective tissue. A person with Marfan syndrome may exhibit the...
Mitral Valve Prolapse (Syndrome, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Surgery)
Mitral valve prolapse (MVP), also called "click murmur syndrome" and "Barlow's syndrome," is the most common type of heart valve...
Palpitations (Causes and Symptoms)
Palpitations are uncomfortable sensations of the heart beating hard, rapidly, or irregularly. Some types of palpitations are...
Pericarditis (Symptoms, ECG, Types, Causes, Treatment)
Pericarditis is the inflammation of the pericardial sac that surrounds the heart. The causes of pericarditis include injury from...
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However,...
Stroke (Signs, Symptoms, Warning Signs)
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding...
Vertigo (Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, and Home Remedies)
Vertigo is the sensation of spinning or rocking, even when someone is at rest. Vertigo may be caused by a problem in the brain or...
Obesity is the state of being well above one's normal weight. A person has traditionally been considered to be obese if they are...
12 Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms, Stages, Causes, and Life Expectancy
Congestive heart failure (CHF) refers to a condition in which the heart loses the ability to function properly. Heart disease,...
Fabry Disease (Symptoms and Life Expectancy)
Fabry disease (Fabry's disease, alpha-galactosidase-A) is a genetic disorder with symptoms such as burning sensations in...
Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD Symptoms, Signs, Causes, Treatments)
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) refers to diseases of the blood vessels (arteries and veins) located outside the heart and...
Neck Pain (Cervical Pain)
Neck pain (cervical pain) may be caused by any number of disorders and diseases. Tenderness is another symptom of neck pain....
Menopause is the time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop, also called the "change of life." Menopause...
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle and can be caused by a variety of infections, conditions, and viruses....
Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of disease. Regular exercise can also reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety....
Preeclampsia (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension)
Preeclampsia is related to increased blood pressure and protein in the mother's urine. Preeclampsia typically begins after the...
Alcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as...
Heart Attack Prevention
Heart disease and heart attacks can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, and stress management....
Enjoying a healthy diet helps to prevent diseases. A good diet also helps to: control celiac disease, control diabetes,...
Indigestion (Dyspepsia, Upset Stomach Pain) Symptoms, Relief Remedies, Medicine
Indigestion (dyspepsia) can be caused by diseases or conditions that involve the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and also by some...
Smoking (How to Quit Smoking)
Smoking is an addiction. More than 430,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. from smoking related illnesses. Secondhand smoke or...
Edema is the swelling of tissues as a result of excess water accumulation. Peripheral edema occurs in the feet and legs. There...
12 Heart Attack Symptoms and Early Warning Signs
Recognizing heart attack symptoms and signs can help save your life or that of someone you love. Some heart attack symptoms,...
Headaches can be divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Migraine headaches, tension headaches,...
Insulin resistance is the diminished ability of cells to respond to the action of insulin in transporting glucose (sugar) from...
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Benefits, Uses, Foods)
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that help decrease one's cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as reduce the risk of...
Nausea and Vomiting (Causes, Natural Remedies, Diet, Medication)
Nausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often precedes vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms...
Gestational diabetes is a condition that is first recognized during pregnancy and is characterized by high blood sugar....
Restrictive cardiomyopathy, the rarest form of cardiomyopathy, is a condition in which the walls of the lower chambers of the...
An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm. With an arrhythmia, the heartbeats may be irregular or too slow (bradycardia), to...
Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart's ability to pump blood is decreased because the heart's main pumping...
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) affects many people today. Many people with HCM have no symptoms or only minor symptoms, and...
Stress and Heart Disease
The connection between stress and heart disease is not clear. Stress itself may be a risk factor, or high levels of stress may...
Fitness: Exercise for a Healthy Heart
Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease. To achieve maximum benefits, do a mix of stretching exercise, aerobic...
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems,...
Vitamins & Exercise: Heart Attack Prevention Series
Vitamins and exercise can lower your risk for heart attack and heart disease. Folic acid, vitamins, and homocysteine levels are...
Carcinoid Syndrome (Carcinoid Tumor)
A carcinoid tumor is a tumor that develops from enterochromaffin cells. The important characteristic of carcinoid tumors that...
Symptoms of 12 Serious Diseases and Health Problems
Learn how to recognize early warning signs and symptoms of serious diseases and health problems, for example, chronic cough,...
Heart Attack Treatment
A heart attack involves damage or death of part of the heart muscle due to a blood clot. The aim of heart attack treatment is to...
Abnormal Heart Rhythms (Heart Rhythm Disorders)
Heart rhythm disorders vary from minor palpitations, premature atrial contractions (PACs), premature ventricular contractions...
Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia (PSVT)
Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) is an abnormal conduction of electricity in particular areas of the heart. PSVT...
Chest pain is a common complaint by a patient in the ER. Causes of chest pain include broken or bruised ribs, pleurisy,...
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to...
Dizziness is a symptom that often applies to a variety of sensations including lightheadedness and vertigo. Causes of dizziness...
Blood clots can occur in the venous and arterial vascular system. Blood clots can form in the heart, legs, arteries, veins,...
Orthostatic hypotension symptoms include: LightheadednessWeaknessBlurred vision Syncope or passing out Causes of...
Hiccups (Causes, Cures, Remedies, and Medicine)
Hiccups are a sudden, involuntary contraction of the diaphragm muscle. In general hiccups are just a temporary condition. Some of...
Heart Murmur (Symptoms, Sounds, Causes, Life Expectancy)
A heart murmur is the sound generated when blood flow within the heart is not smooth. Causes of heart murmurs can be functional,...
Secondhand smoke can cause illness and disease in nonsmokers. Some of these conditions include lung cancer, heart disease,...
Fatigue (Symptoms, Causes, Treatment)
Fatigue can be described in various ways. Sometimes fatigue is described as feeling a lack of energy and motivation (both mental...
Heart Attacks in Women
Heart disease, particularly coronary artery disease is the leading cause of heart attacks. Women are more likely to die from a...
Smoking and Heart Disease
Smoking increases the risk of heart disease in women and men. Nicotine in cigarettes decrease oxygen to the heart, increases...
Low Cholesterol Diet
Cholesterol is naturally produced by the body, and is a building block for cell membranes and hormones. Low-density lipoprotein...
Heart Disease Treatment in Women
Heart disease treatment in women should take into account female-specific guidelines that were developed by the American Heart...
Heart Attack Prevention Overview
Heart attacks are the major causes of unexpected, sudden death among men and women. A heart attack also is a significant cause...
Prediabetes is a situation where a person's blood sugar levels are higher than they should be, but aren't high enough to be...
Atrial Fibrillation Symptoms (AFib Warning Signs)
Atrial fibrillation or AFib is a type of hear rhythm abnormality. Early warning signs and symptoms of atrial fibrillation...
Atrial Flutter (Symptoms, Causes, ECG, and Treatments)
Atrial flutter is a problem with the atria of the heart. In atrial flutter the atria of the heart rapidly and repeatedly beat...
Lipodystrophy (Acquired, Generalized, Inherited)
Lipodystrophy is a syndrome in which fat deposits accumulate all over the body, or sometimes just portions of it, like just the...
Atrial Fibrillation vs. Ventricular Fibrillation (AFib vs VFib Symptoms, ECG Strips)
Atrial fibrillation (AF or AFib) is an abnormality in the heart rhythm which involves irregular and often rapid beating of the...
HDL vs. LDL Cholesterol (Differences, Normal Ranges, Meanings)
HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or the "good" cholesterol, and LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or the "bad"...
Diabetes Symptoms in Women
Diabetes is a disease where your body does not make enough insulin or does not use insulin correctly, and you blood sugar...
Heart Attack vs. Stroke Symptoms, Differences, and Similarities
Heart attack usually is caused by a clot that stops blood flow supplying oxygen to an area of heart muscle, which results in...
Heart Attack vs. Heartburn (Differences between Symptoms and Signs)
Heartburn is a symptom of another disease or medical problem and can be described as a feeling of burning in the chest...
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Treatment Drugs
Atrial fibrillation (also called Afib or Afib) is heart rhythm disorder that causes irregular, and often, a rapid heartbeat. The...
Local ResourcesFind a local Doctor in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
- Coronary Angiogram
- Triglycerides (Tests and Lowering Your Triglyceride Levels)
- Coronary Heart Disease Screening Tests (CAD)
- Echocardiogram (Echocardiography, Diagnostic Cardiac Ultrasound)
- Cardiac Catheterization
- C-Reactive Protein (CRP Test, Ranges, Symptoms, Treatment)
Medications & Supplements
- Aldactone (spironolactone)
- timolol (Blocadren and Timolide 10-25 have been discontinued)
- colestipol (Colestid)
- Lipitor (atorvastatin)
- gemfibrozil, Lopid
- lisinopril (Zestril, Prinivil, Qbrelis) ACE Inhibitor
- Zocor (simvastatin)
- felodipine (Plendil)
- bepridil (Vascor, Bepadin - Discontinued)
- carvedilol (Coreg, Coreg CR)
- alteplase (TPA, Activase, Cathflo Activase)
- ACE Inhibitors (Side Effects, List of Names, Uses, and Dosage)
- Lovenox (enoxaparin)
- Aspirin Therapy (Guidelines for Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention)
- Conjugated Estrogens (Cenestin, Enjuvia, Estrace, and Others)
- hydralazine (Apresoline)
- dopamine (hydrochloride; Intropin - Discontinued in the US)
- Nitrates (Medication)
- dobutamine (injection; Dobutrex has been discontinued)
- High Blood Pressure Drugs (Hypertension)
- Congestive Heart Failure Medications
- cangrelor (Kengreal)
- Entresto (sacubitril and valsartan)
- alirocumab (Praluent)
- Repatha (evolocumab)
- dabigatran (Pradaxa)
- Monoclonal Antibodies
- Anticoagulants (Anticoagulant Drug Class)
- atorvastatin (Lipitor) vs. simvastatin (Zocor)
- lovastatin vs. simvastatin
- Zocor (simvastatin) vs. Crestor (rosuvastatin)
- Beta Blocker Side Effects (Adverse Effects)
- Vasodilators (Drug Class Side Effects, List of Names)
- Coumadin vs. Plavix (Differences and Similarities)
- Aspirin vs. Plavix (clopidogrel)
Prevention & Wellness
- 'Yo-Yo' Cardio Readings May Signal Heart Risks
- Fish Oil Pill Cuts Heart Dangers for High-Risk Patients
- Health Tip: Maintain Healthy Cholesterol
- Mediterranean Diet May Cut Stroke Risk for Women, But Not Men
- Health Tip: Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
- Online History Gives Clues to Heart Ills
- Walking, Exercise Both Linked to Lower Heart Failure in Older Women
- Aspirin, Fish Oil May Not Prevent Heart Trouble in Those Already at Risk
- Weight-Loss Drug Belviq Is First to Show No Harm to Heart
- New Wrinkle in Heart Health: Furrowed Brows May Bode Ill
- For a Healthier Heart, Stick to 6 to 8 Hours of Sleep
- Breastfeeding Bonus: Lower Stroke Risk for Mom Years Later
- 'Moderate' Drinking May Help the Heart, But Only If You Stick With It: Study
- New Lab Test Spots Heart Attack, Risk of Future Heart Woes
- 6 Steps for Promoting Heart Health in Women
- Female Heart Attack Patients Fare Better If ER Doc Is a Woman
- Scans Help Spot Heart Trouble Early in People With Lupus
- HIV Doubles Heart Disease Risk
- When 'Good' Cholesterol Is Bad for Older Women
- Heart Risks Tied to Transwomen's Hormone Therapy
- Even When Insured, Heart Disease Can Bankrupt Poor Families
- Money Spurs Those With Heart Disease to Step Lively
- On Top of Other Challenges, Homeless Have Higher Heart Disease Risk
- Eat Fish Twice a Week to Ward Off Heart Disease, Experts Say
- Add Heart Check to Annual Ob-Gyn Visit, Experts Say
- Chilly, Smoggy Days May Be Hazardous for Some Women's Hearts
- As Menopause Symptoms Get Worse, Heart May Pay a Price
- U.S. Heart Disease Rates Falling, But Gains Vary by State
- Cardiac Defects in Baby Tied to Later Heart Trouble in Moms
- Sugary Sodas Linked Again to Increased Heart Risks
- Majority of U.S. Adults Have Poor Heart Health: Study
- Women May Dismiss Subtle Warning Signs of Heart Disease
- What Younger Women Need to Know About Heart Disease
- For Women, Blocked Arteries Not the Only Trigger for Heart Attacks
- Are Women's Hearts More Vulnerable to Stress?
- Many Women Miss Out on Lifesaving CPR
- Delays in Diagnosis Hurt Women Who Have Heart Disease
- Too Few Women, Docs Understand Dangers of Heart Disease
- Increasing Numbers of Pregnant Women Also Have Heart Disease
- Early Onset Hot Flashes May Signal Higher Heart Risks
- Taller, Bigger Women May Face Irregular Heartbeat Risk
- Depression Can Fuel Heart Disease in Midlife Women: Study
- Even a Little Exercise May Help Younger Women's Hearts
- Health Tip: Measure Your Waist Circumference
- FDA Approves First Fully Dissolvable Stent
- Women in Cardiac Arrest May Be Less Likely to Receive Help
- Anxiety in Women May Mask Heart Disease Symptoms, Researchers Say
- FAQ: Pregnancy Complications and Your Heart
- Early Onset Hot Flashes May Point to Raised Heart Disease Risk
- More Children in the U.S. Are Getting Type 1 Diabetes
- Women With Heart Disease at Low Risk When Giving Birth: Study
- 'Longevity Gene' One Key to Long Life, Research Suggests
- Health Tip: Risk Factors for Heart Disease in Women
- Women Often Ignore Signs of Heart Trouble
- Is Milk Your Friend or Foe?
- Knowing Genetic Risk for Cancer May Not Change Behavior
- Heart Transplant ‘Breakthrough' Shows Promise
- Depression After Heart Attack May Be More Common for Women
- Study Finds U.S. Diets Still Contain Too Many Bad Fats
- Stress Affects Women, Men With Heart Disease Differently, Study Shows
- Childhood Sex Abuse May Be Linked to Heart Disease Risk in Women