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Recognizing Heart Problems in Women

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Are women more likely to experience heart problems than men? What cardiac symptoms should women be mindful of? Cardiologist Desiree’ Dawson, MD, answers these questions and more. 
She says, "So women are not more likely to have more heart problems than men. It's more so that women present later than men because the symptoms that they have, they really don't think it's heart-related because the symptoms aren't always as clear cut, shall I say? Like you would see in men. It's not always, oh, the chest pain I feel is crushing, or I feel my chest hurting significantly. It could honestly be related to stress and it could be just a small discomfort in your chest. Maybe your shoulder hurts, maybe you're having abdominal pain, maybe you're having nausea and vomiting. That could be a significant sign of a cardiovascular event in a female. Women should be aware that heart disease can start at any age, number one. And number two, that when you do get any symptoms that are concerning, and where your body's feeling more different than it has before, you should definitely go get checked by your primary care doctor, or even more so, a specialist."

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There is hope and it’s closer than you think. It’s right here at Ochsner. With treatment options so revolutionary they aren't available anywhere else in the region, the award-winning team at Ochsner is dedicated to changing and saving lives, and helping our patients fight back.

Connecting to care online has never been easier. You can now schedule virtual visits through your MyOchsner portal to meet with your cardiologist for various issues that do not require an in-person visit. Review frequently asked questions for cardiovascular virtual visits.

Why Cardiovascular Care at Ochsner?

Ochsner’s team of cardiologists and surgeons work closely with each patient to develop a customized healthcare plan that is both targeted and effective. From routine diagnostics to specialized procedures, Ochsner heart specialists are equipped to provide optimum care in cardiovascular medicine.

Offering new and innovative ways to manage chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and congestive heart failure, Ochsner’s Digital Medicine program allows real-time patient data to be shared with a care team via smart technology, enabling immediate medical and lifestyle adjustments.

With the only dual-provider, fellowship-trained vascular medicine program in the Gulf South, Ochsner is truly on the leading edge. The Ochsner vascular surgery team is comprised of dedicated individuals with a passion for preventing vascular disease in all parts of the body. Patients here receive one-on-one consultation and treatment plans tailored to their unique needs.

We are continually searching for ways to improve overall patient care. The Department of Cardiology participates in over 100 clinical trials with research goals of advancing knowledge of the mechanisms, diagnoses, and treatments of cardiovascular disease.

What's more, Ochsner has successfully completed its 1,000th heart transplant. With the completion of the 1,000th heart transplant, Ochsner joins the ranks of 13 other prestigious health care systems across the United States to have reached this milestone – Cleveland Clinic, Duke University, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, University of Pennsylvania, to name a few.

If you have a heart condition, don't delay routine care. Click here to learn more about taking care of your heart during COVID-19.

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