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When it comes to heart disease and heart attacks, men are traditionally in the headlines more than women. However, women are not in the clear. It's true that before menopause women are somewhat protected, thanks to estrogen, but once menopause arrives and estrogen levels decline, women's risk slowly rises. Women are six times more likely to die of heart disease than breast cancer. In fact, heart disease is the number one killer of women, claiming more than 500,000 lives a year. And another 8 million live daily with the disease.

The Women's Cardiac Center, part of the Orlando Health Heart Institute, is working hard to change these staggering statistics. By educating women about heart disease and heart attacks, together we can save thousands of lives every year.

Services offered at the Women's Cardiac Center include screenings for heart disease and depression, nutritional counseling, and programs to help women with weight reduction and smoking cessation. Contact us today to start taking control of your health.  

Heart Health Screenings

The key to preventing cardiovascular disease is early management risk factors such as high blood pressure, high total cholesterol or high blood glucose. According to a new national survey, 60 percent of women thought heart screenings weren’t recommended until after the age of 30, but according to the American Heart Association, most regular cardiovascular screening tests should begin at age 20. The frequency of follow up will depend on your level of risk.

By monitoring risk factors from the time a woman is in her 20’s, less than optimal screening results can serve as a wake up call to start making lifestyle changes early on in order to prevent heart disease in the future.

Below are the key screening tests recommended for optimal cardiovascular health.

Recommended Schedule for Screening Tests                    



Age to Start Screening

Blood pressure

Each regular healthcare visit or at least once every 2 years if blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg

Age 20

Cholesterol (“fasting lipoprotein profile” to measure total, HDL and LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides)

Every 4-6 years for normal-risk people; more often if any you have elevated risk for heart disease and stroke

Age 20

Weight / Body Mass Index (BMI)

During your regular healthcare visit

Age 20

Waist circumference

As needed to help evaluate cardiovascular risk. This is a supplemental measurement if your BMI is greater than or equal to 25 kg/m2.

Age 20

Blood glucose test

At least every 3 years

Age 45

Discuss smoking, physical activity, diet

Each regular healthcare visit

Age 20