Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women in America. The team at Ochsner Women’s Heart Clinic are experts in addressing heart health concerns specific to women. We’re here to empower you to take control of your heart health.

Why Choose Ochsner

There are differences in heart disease between men and women. Women with heart or cardiac risk factors tend to have more severe heart disease initially. They also may not show the common symptoms of chest pain, but instead could have symptoms of chest pressure, pain in the arm and jaw and shortness of breath as initial symptoms of a heart attack.

Women’s chest pain symptoms may not be due a major blocked coronary (heart) artery. Women can have chest pain that from disease in smaller arterial vessels that do not dilate appropriately. This condition is called microvascular dysfunction or coronary vasospasm. These conditions require sophisticated testing and is not clearly diagnosed on regular stress test.

Women’s Cardiovascular Clinic at Ochsner

We council and treat women who have have significant significant risk factors for heart disease such as diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipemia, a current or prior smoking history and sedentary lifestyle, prior chemotherapy for breast cancer and prior radiation to the chest wall (such as include radiation for lymphoma or breast cancer). Menopause can further heighten these risks.

Our team offers offer screening tests, including cholesterol screenings, stress testing, calcium scoring to evaluate future risks and offer counseling. We also treat women who have existing heart condition during pregnancy, to reduce their future risk of developing cardiovascular complications.

Our Team

Ochsner Women’s Heart Clinic is staffed by two fellowship-trained, board-certified cardiologists relentless about giving women what they need to fight back against heart disease. We are here to take care of you and empower you to take care of yourself. At Ochsner, we understand a women’s heart at every age of her life.

Meet Our Team

Learn more about our team of cardiologists.

Your team at Ochsner will review your medical history, complete a risk assessment, perform an initial cardiac exam, and order diagnostic testing, if needed.

Plus, as part of the region’s leading multi-specialty health system, we have access to specialists and subspecialists and can consult with these experts on your behalf. Nutrition, fitness and mental health professionals may all be a part of your care team.

Our team diagnoses, treats, manages and educates our patients on a wide variety of cardiovascular conditions including:

  • Primary prevention (Counseling and treatment) for women with multiple cardiac risk factors (Diabetes, hypertension, current smoking, family history of premature heart disease, high cholesterol, presence of autoimmune disease and sedentary lifestyle)
  • Arrhythmia (palpitations)
  • Chest pain from a blocked heart artery (Angina)
  • Chest pain related to Microvascular dysfunction and coronary spasm
  • Heart complications from high blood pressure during pregnancy (Preeclampsia)
  • Heart complications from preexisting congenital heart disease during pregnancy
  • Heart complications from prior breast cancer chemotherapy and radiation
  • Heart failure during pregnancy (Peripartum Cardiomyopathy)
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection
  • Stress-induced cardiomyopathy (broken heart syndrome)

Education

At Ochsner, we will help you make healthy lifestyle changes that can go far in preventing or slowing the progression of heart disease. We’ll give you strategies to deal with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, ideas on how to incorporate exercise into your busy schedule, a plan for healthy eating, help to quit smoking ­­– even techniques to deal with stress. We treat the whole woman – not just the disease.

Risk factors of cardiovascular disease in women include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High LDL cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • History of breast cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL)
  • Poor diet
  • Inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use

When a man has a heart attack, he might experience crushing chest pain, cold sweats, nausea, upper body pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and dizziness, but none of these may happen in a woman.

A woman might experience pressure in her chest, pain in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach, and shortness of breath without chest discomfort.

It is important to know that these symptoms can take place any time ­– when you are resting, exercising or in times of stress. It’s also common for women not to have any symptoms at all. Research shows that about 64% of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. When there are symptoms, however, here is what they might mean:

Heart Attack

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Upper back pain
  • Heartburn/indigestion
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Upper body discomfort
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

Arrhythmia (palpitations)

  • A fluttering or racing feeling (tachycaria) in the chest
  • A slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Sweating
  • Fainting or near fainting

Heart Failure

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling of the feet/ankles/legs/abdomen

Stroke

  • Sudden weakness
  • Paralysis
  • Numbness of the face/arms/legs (especially on one side of the body)
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding
  • Vision problems in one or both eyes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Balance and coordination problems
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sudden and severe headache

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