Taking care of your heart is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and those you love. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and the leading cause of disability among women in the United States. At Parkland Medical Center, our goal is to help you enjoy a long and active life through better heart health.

Specialized Heart Care for Women

Women often experience heart disease and its symptoms differently than do men. That’s why the Parkland Center for Cardiology’s team of heart and vascular specialists, cardiac nurses and cardiovascular technicians is highly skilled in detecting and treating women’s heart care issues.

At Parkland, you benefit from our wide range of noninvasive and less-invasive procedures, which result in fewer complications, less pain and faster return to regular activities. As an accredited Chest Pain Center, our life-saving emergency heart care begins with EMS response and continues through to the emergency room and the catheterization lab, ranking Parkland in the top 10 percent of hospitals nationwide. Our accredited cardiac rehabilitation program extends your heart care well beyond treatment, offering rehab programs tailored specifically for women and uniquely for you.

Get Help Fast

If you think you or someone else is experiencing a heart attack, get help now. Call 911 and go to a hospital emergency room immediately.

Advanced Technology for Better Results

Through our relationship with the New England Heart Institute (NEHI) and our sister hospital, Portsmouth Regional Hospital, you have access to top-ranked cardiac physicians, technology and treatment right here in our community. From our nationally accredited echocardiography and cardiac catheterization laboratories to our angioplasty and induced therapeutic hypothermia capabilities, the Parkland Center for Cardiology offers leading technology, equipment and procedures to evaluate and treat your cardiac condition.

Learn about the full range of heart and vascular care available at Parkland Medical Center.

A Focus on Prevention

At Parkland, we focus on heart health and heart disease prevention with routine screenings and community outreach programs. We partner with the American Heart Association for community events, such as the Red Dress program, the annual Heart Walk and community health fairs, and we offer cardiology education and CPR classes.

Know the Symptoms of Heart Disease in Women

Understanding your risk for a heart attack is the first step in maintaining your health. Learn to recognize the symptoms of heart disease and cardiac arrest so you can react promptly and seek the care you need.

Women develop heart disease an average of 10 years later than men. Because they do not always experience symptoms commonly associated with a heart attack, such as chest pain or tightness, women are less likely to seek appropriate medical attention.

The most common symptoms of heart attack in women are:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the lower chest, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Upper back pressure or feeling as if a rope is tied around you and is squeezing you
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness or extreme fatigue
  • As with men, the most common heart attack symptom in women is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911. This is especially important if you have risk factors for heart disease—including smoking, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia or a family history of heart disease. If further care is recommended, your doctor will refer you to a cardiology specialist.

Time = Muscle

If you suspect you may be having a heart attack, act promptly to help retain as much healthy heart muscle as possible. Call 911 immediately. Treatment can begin as soon as emergency personnel arrive, giving you the best chance of survival and full recovery.

To learn more about heart disease, including prevention and treatment, visit the Heart Disease Center at our online Health Library.