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TNJ Talks Women's Heart Health

Updated: Aug 16

New research distributed by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examining heart attack outcomes, concluded that patients have a 5.4 % decreased chance of death when seen by a same sex physician. Males and females have similar outcomes when seen by a female physician but women seen by male physicians have the worse outcomes.

Female Doctor w/ Female Patient

This shocking data was derived from more than half a million patients who were seen in Florida emergency departments between 1991 and 2010, and was used to support these new findings. Research also showed that male physicians who have treated predominantly female patients and or have female colleagues had better outcomes as well.

For me I think this points to the notion that women are more instinctual and geared towards nurturing- but regardless how compelling the research; the findings aren’t yet fully understood or explained and many thought leaders in the field argue that the study fails to consider valuable variables such as time.

Women have the highest mortality rate for heart disease and AA women have disproportionately higher incidence of all women. According to the American Heart Association, 90% of women have at least one risk factor for heart disease. Ultimately, all providers need to be mindful that heart attack symptoms aren't created equally and symptoms in women can be not so common.

Lastly, I think the greater point is to PREVENT that trip to the emergency department all together and commit to living a healthy lifestyle that supports a healthy heart.

For all my thoughts on the topic, watch the video below:

Heart Attack Symptoms for Women

While highly individual. Heart Attack symptoms for women can be drastically different from those traditionally experienced by men. We are our own biggest advocates and know best when our bodies are out of whack! Keeping a journal will help you be the best historian of your health issues. Here are a few known symptoms women experience leading up to a Heart Attack. Be mindful, you can experience these symptoms in the absence of chest pain.

  • Nausea & Vomiting

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Anxiety

  • Pain in the back, neck, jaw

  • Any pain from the waist up

  • Chest pain

  • Shortness of Breath


ACTIVITY: The American Heart association recommends 30 mins of physical activity at least five days a week.

Can't make it to the gym? No worries, a swift walk around your neighborhood will do! Its free, fun and social. Physical activity is anything that gets your blood flowing so at home exercises are great as well. Going to the gym also has its benefits and can help you achieve your heart and fitness goals.

DIET: Incorporating a heart healthy diet will help protect your cardiovascular system and reduce your risk for cardiovascular incidents. Being intentional about your consumption of low salt food items, fish, whole grains, green leafy vegetables and berries can help you transform your eating habits! Don't fret, dark chocolate and red wine may also be incorporated.

** Link to full research article:

** American Heart Association

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