Posts Tagged ‘symptoms of heart disease in women’

Takeaways from Dr. Gongora’s Live Chat on Women & Heart Disease

women-hrt-disease260x200Thank you to everyone who joined us on February 23rd, for our live chat on “Women & Heart Disease” hosted by Carolina Gongora, M.D., cardiologist with the Emory Women’s Heart Center.

We had a lot of great questions! Heart Disease is the number one killer of women, so it was wonderful to have so many women engaged and interested in their heart health. The physicians at Emory Women’s Heart Center are dedicated to diagnosis, screening, treatment and prevention of heart disease in women.

We hope that you found the discussion informative. If you missed the chat or are interested in reviewing all of Dr. Gongora’s answers, you can view the chat transcript.

Below are a few highlights:

Question: What is the effect of depression on my cardiovascular health?

Dr. Gongora: Although men and women share similar risk factors for heart disease, there are some that are more frequent and damaging in women and depression is one of them. Depression increases the risk of heart attack and cardiac related death by 50%. If you are experiencing signs of depression, it is important that you consult your doctor for treatment.

Question: What is the best diet for heart disease?

Dr. Gongora: The Mediterranean and DASH diets have shown to reduce risk of developing and worsening heart disease.

The Mediterranean diet is based on traditional foods from Italy and Greece, hence the name. It consists of daily servings of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, nuts and whole grains. Frequent ingestion of fish, moderate ingestion of low fat yogurt and cheese and eggs, and infrequent ingestion of red meats, refined oils, refined grains and processed sweets. This diet has been shown to prevent heart disease and stroke.

The DASH diet is meant to prevent hypertension. It favors food lower in sodium and richer in potassium, magnesium and calcium. It is similar to Mediterranean diet in recommending intake of plenty of vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products, as well as whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts.

Question: What is generally the first sign of an impending heart attack for a woman?

Dr. Gongora: Women tend to have symptoms other than the recognized central chest pain. Symptoms like back pain, arm, neck, and jaw, as well as unusual fatigue, shortness of breath, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, and weakness occur more frequently in women compared to men. Remember, if you think you’re having a heart attack, call 911 immediately.

To learn more about the Emory Women’s Heart Center, visit our website. To make a new patient appointment, call 404-778-7777.


Women with Diabetes are Four Times More Likely to Develop Heart Disease

A new research study from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine demonstrated that women under 60 who have diabetes are up to four times more likely to develop coronary artery disease compared to those without diabetes. This news is especially important as none of the subjects had heart disease at the time of their enrollment.

In addition, we know that women under the age of 60 tend to have lower rates of heart disease compared to their male counterparts. However, this study shows that the presence of diabetes eliminated that gender disparity. These findings highlight the need for aggressive screening and management of other risk factors for coronary heart disease among younger diabetic women.

It is imperative to recognize that heart disease can present differently in women compared to men. Women often wait longer to get help and this can lead to irreversible damage to the heart muscle.

The most common symptoms of heart disease in women are :

  1. Chest Pain
  2. Pain in the back, neck, arms or jaw
  3. Upper abdominal pain
  4. Nausea or lightheadedness
  5. Shortness of breath
  6. Sweating
  7. Fatigue

If you suspect you have heart disease, visit your physician to be screened. You can check out the Emory Women’s Heart Center for details on screening. If you suspect you are having a heart attack, get help immediately. Remember, every minute makes a difference and could save your life.

About Dr. Isiadinso
Ijeoma Isiadinso, M.D.Ijeoma Isiadinso, MD MPH is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Isiadinso completed her undergraduate studies at Binghamton University in New York majoring in biology and sociology. She then pursued a joint degree in medicine and public health at MCP Hahnemann (Drexel University) School of Medicine. Dr. Isiadinso completed a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Cardiology at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. She served as Chief Fellow during her final year of her cardiology fellowship.

Her commitment to public health has led to her involvement in several projects focused on heart disease and diabetes. She has participated in research projects with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and presented her work at national conferences. Her research interests include inequalities in health care, community and preventive health, lipid disorders, women and heart disease, and program development and evaluation.
Dr. Isiadinso has served as the health advisor to nonprofit organizations. She has participated in panel discussions at high schools, universities, and with the Black Entertainment Television Foundation.

About the Emory Women’s Heart Center
Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Lundberg, MD provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessment and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease as well as full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease care.

Find out if you are at risk for heart disease by scheduling your comprehensive cardiac screening. Call 404-778-7777.

We ♥ Wine – A Local Event Raises Awareness on Women’s Heart Disease

Emory Johns Creek Women's Heart Center Event

Dr. Gina Lundberg chats with guests at a presentation on the new Emory Women’s Heart Center.

Gina Price Lundberg, MD, Clinical Director of Emory Women’s Heart Center recently spoke to the group of almost 30 guests about women’s heart disease—which is now the leading cause of death and disability in women in the U.S.—to residents and members of St Ives Country Club at a private wine tasting event. The reason, Lundberg explains, is that women’s heart disease symptoms can be dramatically different from men’s—and alarmingly subtle. In some cases, Lundberg explains, women who were having heart attacks thought they merely had a bad case of the flu.

Hence the creation of the Emory Women’s Heart Center, which originated at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital and has now expanded to locations in Johns Creek, Midtown and East Cobb. With the help of Dr. Lundberg, the Emory Johns Creek Hospital team introduced the new  Emory Women’s Heart Center at the event, where Johns Creek Wine & Crystal provided wine service. On the menu were a trio of wines from Ehler’s Estates, a California winery owned by the non-profit Leducq Foundation, which awards more than $30 million annually to directly support international cardiovascular research. One of the cabernets served was appropriately labeled One Twenty Over Eighty.

Additional locations are opening soon in Decatur and on Clifton Road. The mission of the Women’s Heart Center, she says, is to educate women as well as their physicians about the differences in women’s cardiac symptoms and risk factors. Emory Women’s Heart Center also offers an innovative program of one-on-one screenings that are tailored to each woman and take about two hours to complete. Lundberg says these screenings are designed for women who think they may be at higher risk but are not currently under the care of a cardiologist. “If you’ve already had a heart attack or are currently seeing a cardiologist, continue long term follow up for risk reduction,” she advises.

Laboratory and nursing staff from Emory Johns Creek hospital provided free blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol screenings. Jeffery Hershey, MD, of Emory Heart and Vascular at Johns Creek, used the screening results to calculate preliminary risk scores for the guests.

For more information about Emory Women’s Heart Center, visit To schedule an appointment, please call 404-778-7777.

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