The perception that heart disease primarily affects men often overlooks its substantial impact on women. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in many parts of the world. At Capitol Cardiology Associates, we recognize the importance of understanding heart disease, specifically in women, to provide better care and improve outcomes.


Decoding Heart Disease for Women

While some factors, like genetics, can't be changed, lifestyle choices can play a central role in the development and progression of heart disease. Women often experience different symptoms than men, making awareness and education vital. Women are more likely to suffer from certain types of heart disease compared to men. These include coronary microvascular disease and stress-induced cardiomyopathy. Understanding these differences can help in early detection and prevention.

Exploring Various Heart Conditions

Heart disease isn't a one-size-fits-all diagnosis. There are several types of heart disease that women may encounter:

  • Coronary Artery Disease: Occurs when coronary arteries are blocked or drastically narrowed, and cannot carry an adequate supply of blood to the heart.
  • Coronary Microvascular Disease: More prevalent in women, MVD affects the tiny arteries in the heart. Unlike CAD, it doesn’t show up on traditional heart tests.
  • Broken Heart Syndrome: Triggered by extreme emotional stress, this condition causes the heart muscle to temporarily weaken. While it’s usually reversible, it can mimic the symptoms of a heart attack and requires prompt medical attention.
  • Heart Failure: When the heart can’t pump blood efficiently, it can lead to heart failure. Women are more likely to develop this condition after suffering from issues like high blood pressure or diabetes for many years.

Hormonal Influence on Heart Health

Hormones play a substantial role in women's heart health. Estrogen, for instance, has a protective effect on the heart. It helps maintain the flexibility of vessels and promotes healthy blood flow. However, after menopause, estrogen levels drop, increasing the risk of heart disease.

  • Menopause and Heart Disease: Post-menopausal women are at higher risks of heart disease due to lower estrogen levels. This hormonal change can lead to an increase in blood pressure cholesterol levels, and changes in the way the body handles fats.
  • Birth Control and Hormone Replacement Therapy: Certain types of birth control pills and HRT can also affect heart health. It's important for women to discuss these factors with their healthcare providers to balance the benefits and risks effectively.

Recognizing Heart Disease Symptoms in Women

The symptoms of heart disease in women can differ significantly from those in men, often leading to delays in diagnosis and treatment. Some common signs include:

  • Chest Pain or Discomfort: While chest pain is a common symptom, women are more likely to experience it as a tightness or pressure rather than a sharp pain. It can occur in areas other than the chest, such as the neck, jaw, shoulders, upper back, or abdomen.
  • Shortness of Breath: This could occur with or without chest discomfort and may happen during rest or physical activity.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Women may feel nauseous or even vomit during a heart attack, which can sometimes be mistaken for gastrointestinal issues.
  • Fatigue: Unusual or unexplained fatigue is a common symptom of heart disease in women. It can occur suddenly and be accompanied by a lack of energy.
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness: These symptoms, especially when combined with shortness of breath and chest pain, should not be ignored.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Women often delay seeking care due to uncertainty about their symptoms or because they prioritize family and work responsibilities over their own health. Here are some guidelines on when to seek medical attention:

  • Persistent Symptoms: If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above persistently or severely, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Unusual Pain or Discomfort: If you feel an unusual pain or discomfort in your chest or other areas, even if it’s mild, consult your healthcare provider.
  • History of Heart Disease: If your family has a history of heart disease or you have other risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or smoking, it’s important to have regular check-ups with your cardiologist.
  • Post-Menopausal Women: Women who are post-menopausal should be vigilant about their health and discuss any changes or concerns with their heart doctor.

Are You Looking for an Experienced Local Cardiologist?

Heart disease in women requires awareness, education, and proactive care. At Capitol Cardiology Associates, we are dedicated to providing personalized care and support to help women maintain optimal heart health. Our experienced team of cardiologists is committed to offering comprehensive heart care tailored to the specific needs of our patients. Take charge of your heart health and schedule your appointment with a qualified heart doctor today.

Review of Exceptional Healthcare Services

Jose Mendoza

My experience with the Capitol Cardiology Associates office was outstanding. From the time I initially talked to Dr Shetty on the phone to the moment I checked out. I had a very pleasant encounter with the front desk personnel. The staff is kind, gentle and informative. Pamela was very efficient, skilled and smart.  Took time to explain the procedure and broke it down in easy terms. I recommend this group with no reservations to whoever needs a cardiologist.

Bobbie Shockley

Even the office was excited busy, the staff remains super courteous and respectful. Dr. Shetty and his students were kind and efficient. Check out is a breeze. Those with disabilities were treated with great respect. I feel well cared for here at Capitol  Cardiology.

Isatu Sesay

Dr Raj Shetty. I wanted to thank you so so much, my blood pressure is normal now praise God.All because of you, my physician cannot get it in control then he Reffered me to you. I thank God and you because it’s all in control now. May God continue to bless your hand , you are so patient.

Jeanette McQueen

I had an excellent experience at Capitol Cardiology Associates. From the moment I walked into the suite everyone was friendly and courteous. When I was taken in the back the Medical Assistant was very professional and made me feel comfortable. My Cardiologist, Dr. Venugopal, had an excellent bedside manner and reassured me that all was okay. The checkout receptionist was very helpful as well. She made sure I had all the documents I needed and provided a copy to my primary care physician. Well done guys!??