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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Women & Heart Diseases

Studies have shown that the disease women fear most is breast cancer, yet more women die every year of heart and vascular disease than of all cancers combined (http://womenshealth.gov/faq/heartdis.htm). In fact, one in three women in the United States dies of heart disease. Heart disease symptoms are different in women and men. More women than men die every year of heart and vascular disease, yet women are less likely than men to receive appropriate care.

At Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, (http://www.nmh.org/nmh/heart/womenscvhealth/main.htm) a team of dedicated physicians and nurses are working to change these statistics. They are learning more about heart and vascular disease in women, informing women of life-saving strategies they can practice in their own lives, and conducting clinical trials to advance knowledge in this field.

Internet Resources

MedlinePlus: Heart Disease in Women
Developed at the National Library of Medicine specifically for consumers, this site is a portal for both government-sponsored and privately developed health information for the lay public.

WISEWOMAN: Well-integrated Screening and Evaluation for Women across the Nation
Administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this program works toward access to preventive care for women aged 40 to 64 to reduce their risk for coronary and vascular disease.

WomenHeart: National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease
Founded by a group of women who have survived heart attacks, this Web site provides information, support and advocacy for all women living with heart disease.

Women and Heart Disease Fact Sheet
Learn facts and risk factors regarding women and heart disease. Also available as a hard copy is Heart Disease Mortality among Women: Atlas of Racial and Ethnic Disparities which provides critical data on geographic, racial, and ethnic inequalities in women’s heart disease death rates for the five major racial and ethnic groups.


  • Woman’s heart: an owner’s guide. Elefteriades J. 2008.
  • AMA guide to preventing and treating heart disease. Lipsky M. 2008.
  • From the Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Living Well With Heart Disease. Kastan K. 2007.
  • Woman’s Guide to Heart Attack Recovery: How to Survive, Thrive, and Protect Your Heart. Kramer HM. 2007.
  • Take It to Heart: The Real Deal on Women and Heart Disease. Serure P. 2006.
  • Women’s Healthy Heart Program: Lifesaving Strategies for Preventing and Healing Heart Disease. Goldberg N. 2006.
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Longe JL, ed. 2006. Available in print at the Health Learning Center or electronically here.


  • “Daily aspirin therapy: Questions and answers about benefits and risks.” Mayo Clinic Women’s Healthsource. 11(11):1–2. November 2007.
  • “Depression and heart disease: The connection between two common conditions.” Mayo Clinic Women’s Healthsource. 10(2):1–2. February 2006.
  • “Diastolic Dysfunction: Understanding a Common Cause of Heart Failure.” Mayo Clinic Women’s Healthsource. 11(2):1–2. February 2007.
  • “Emotions After Heart Attack: An Important Part of Healing.” Mayo Clinic Women’s Healthsource. 11(1):7. January 2007.
  • “Guidelines offer women a change of heart. Focusing on prevention is the best way to halt heart disease in women.” Harvard Heart Letter.17(11):3. July 2007.
  • “New guidelines for preventing heart disease in women.” Johns Hopkins Medical Letter, Health after 50. 19(5):1–2. July 2007.
  • “New test captures women’s hearts.” Johns Hopkins Medical Letter, Health after 50. 19(7):1–2. September 2007.
  • “New view of heart disease in women: A revolution in thinking about coronary blood vessels could change the way women’s heart problems are diagnosed and treated.” Harvard Women’s Health Watch. 14(6):1–3. February 2007.
  • “Small vessel heart disease: Mostly a woman’s concern." Mayo Clinic Health Letter. 25(10):1–3. October 2007.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the Alberto Culver Health Learning Center at 312-926-5465.

Review Date: 11/12

Last UpdateNovember 2, 2012