While heart disease threatens both men and women, gender differences make it more of a challenge to diagnose and treat the disease in women. Aside from the classic heart attack symptoms of sharp chest pain and shortness of breath, women can also have less obvious symptoms including:
- Generalized pressure in the chest
- Discomfort in the back, shoulders, arms, stomach, jaw, neck or throat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Unexplained fatigue
The Women’s Heart Health Program at UMass Memorial Medical Center provides a unique service to residents of Central New England – cardiac care designed specifically for women. This dedicated clinic focuses on all aspects of cardiology for women, from preventive care to the treatment of complex conditions.
Our program tailors cardiovascular care to fit the specific needs of women. To begin, our experts will complete a heart assessment that includes:
- Health history
- Cardiovascular risk screening test
- Family history of cardiovascular disease
- Complete cardiovascular physical exam
- Education about your individual cardiovascular risk factors
- Blood tests, including lipids and glucose
- Calculation of body mass index (BMI)
- Development of an individualized plan for you to share with your primary care physician
Additional tests, such as labs or imaging studies, may be needed to completely understand your risk. Women with concerning symptoms for cardiovascular disease may require further diagnostic testing, ranging from noninvasive stress testing to a cardiac catheterization which can be conveniently done at our Medical Center.