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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Women and 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.  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/nm/bluhm+cardiovascular+institute) 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 Evaluationfor 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.


  • Cardiovascular disease in women: essentials. Bybee K. 2011
  • 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.
  • 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 at  http://www.nmh.org/nm/health library virtual library .


  • “Statins: some women don’t get the benefits.” Consumer Reports. 75(8):12. Aug. 2010
  • “High resting heart rate predicts heart risk in women at midlife.” Harvard Women's Health Watch. 16(9):6, 2009 May.
  • “Heart failure in women. Heart failure affects increasing numbers of older women, but it’s becoming easier to prevent and treat.” Harvard Women's Health Watch. 16(1):3-5, 2008 Sep.
  • “Depression and heart disease: The connection between two common conditions.” Mayo Clinic Women’s Healthsource. 10(2):1–2. February 2006.
  • “Emotions after heart attack: An important part of healing.” Mayo Clinic Women’s Healthsource. 11(1):7. January 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.

Annual Conference

Every February the Health Learning Centers and the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer a half-day meeting for women in our community, “Heart Health: What Smart Women Need to Know.” DVDs of past conferences are available in the Health Learning Centers. For information about attending, visit the hospital Web site or call the Health Learning Center.

Contact Us

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

Last UpdateOctober 29, 2012