Women’s Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease, characterized by blockages in blood vessels that supply the heart muscle with blood, accounts for 1 in 3 deaths of women each year in the United States. This disease is often associated with men despite these numbers; perhaps because women often experience it 10 years after their male counterparts.

Symptoms and risk factors of coronary artery disease are often different in women than in men. Your Women’s Heart Wellness Program doctor is particularly attuned to these differences and identifying coronary artery disease when it’s most treatable and least disruptive to your health.


What is Coronary Artery Disease?

CAD, as this disease is often called, is the most common type of heart disease. If you have coronary artery disease, it’s likely the arteries that transport blood to your heart muscle have stiffened and narrowed after accumulating plaque buildup on their walls. This condition, atherosclerosis, slows the flow of blood to the heart.


What’s Different About Coronary Artery Disease in Women?

Here are a few differences:

Coronary Arteries

Women’s coronary arteries are smaller than men’s, complicating medical imaging (angiography and stress testing), procedures to treat CAD (angioplasty) and cases requiring surgery (coronary bypass).

Cholesterol Levels

Women develop CAD about 10 years later than men, perhaps related to menopause. Before menopause, estrogen increases a woman’s HDL (good) cholesterol and decreases her LDL (bad) cholesterol – diminishing chances of heart disease. Post-menopause, women typically have higher levels of cholesterol. A combination of low HDL and high LDL can contribute to a higher risk of coronary artery disease.

Diabetes

A woman with diabetes has a greater risk of heart disease than a man with diabetes. Women with diabetes can also have hypertension, high cholesterol and obesity – all increasing their risk of heart disease. Diabetes also can alter the way women experience pain, increasing the odds of having a heart attack that doesn’t show typical symptoms.

Mental Health: Stress and Depression

A women’s heart, more than a man’s, is affected by stress and depression.

Smoking

Smoking increases women’s risk of coronary artery disease more than it does men’s risk.


Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease in Women

Women with coronary artery disease often don’t know it. Many don’t even know when they’re having a heart attack.

Here are some signs of heart disease:

Angina:

Chest discomfort caused by lack of oxygen caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. You might feel pressure or tightness, a squeezing or maybe a sensation of heaviness. Physical exertion, extreme temperatures, stress, alcohol or smoking can contribute to an episode of angina. Learn More >>

Arrhythmias:

An irregular or rapid heartbeat. You might feel shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness or chest pain. Learn More >>

Transient ischemic attack (TIA) and stroke:

A TIA, often called a mini-stroke, is temporary restriction of blood supplied to the brain. Neurological symptoms – numbness on one side of your face, arm or leg or trouble seeing, talking or walking – last less than 24 hours. If symptoms last longer, you’re having a stroke. If you are having symptoms of a TIA or stroke, it is important that you act fast and call 911 for immediate medical help.
Learn more>>


Diagnosis & Treatment

Women’s Heart Wellness Program

The goal of the Women’s Heart Wellness Program is to provide comprehensive, personalized and compassionate care to women at risk for, and those living with heart disease.

Providers & Locations


Meet our Coronary Artery Disease Specialists

Showing 1 - 25 of 55


Name Specialties Location
Agin, Elliot David, MD, FACC Agin, Elliot David, MD, FACC
4.6 /5
89 surveys
203.874.1512
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Echocardiography
  • Internal Medicine
Show Less
  • Milford
Alter, Eric Louis, MD, FACC Alter, Eric Louis, MD, FACC 203.254.2452
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Echocardiography
  • Internal Medicine
  • Nuclear Cardiology
Show Less
  • Fairfield
  • Milford
  • Stratford
Show Less
Ansari, Ehsan, MD Ansari, Ehsan, MD 203.573.1435
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Interventional Cardiology
Show Less
  • Waterbury
Atef, Amr Mohamed, MD Atef, Amr Mohamed, MD
4.9 /5
225 surveys
860.886.0023
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
Show Less
  • Norwich
  • Willimantic
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Azemi, Talhat, MD Azemi, Talhat, MD
4.9 /5
48 surveys
860.972.5083
  • Interventional Cardiology
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Endovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Nuclear Cardiology
  • Vascular Medicine
Show Less
  • Hartford
Bleich, Steven, MD Bleich, Steven, MD 860.522.0604
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
Show Less
  • Hartford
Borer, Steven Michael, DO, FACC Borer, Steven Michael, DO, FACC 860.522.5712
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Nuclear Cardiology
Show Less
  • Hartford
  • Farmington
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Borkowski, Robert D., MD Borkowski, Robert D., MD 860.229.6811
  • Interventional Cardiology
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
Show Less
  • New Britain
Carreras, Edward Thomas, MD, FACC, FSCAI Carreras, Edward Thomas, MD, FACC, FSCAI 203.380.3910
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Echocardiography
  • Internal Medicine
  • Interventional Cardiology
Show Less
  • Stratford
  • Bridgeport
  • Milford
Show Less
Casey, David Madigan, MD, FACC Casey, David Madigan, MD, FACC 860.572.5400
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Nuclear Cardiology
Show Less
  • Plainfield
  • Mystic
  • Norwich
  • Old Lyme
Show Less
Corcoran, Patrick Joseph, MD 860.545.5000
  • Interventional Cardiology
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
Show Less
  • Hartford
Criscuolo Beck, Aimee Jude, PA-C Criscuolo Beck, Aimee Jude, PA-C
4.8 /5
165 surveys
860.626.2010
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Middletown
Decena, Katharine T., MD Decena, Katharine T., MD
4.7 /5
220 surveys
860.886.0023
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Echocardiography
  • Internal Medicine
Show Less
  • Norwich
Dougherty, Kevin Russell, MD, FACC Dougherty, Kevin Russell, MD, FACC 860.522.0604
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Nuclear Cardiology
Show Less
  • Hartford
  • Enfield
  • Glastonbury
  • Wethersfield
Show Less
Duncan, Brett Hunter, MD, FACC Duncan, Brett Hunter, MD, FACC 860.522.5712
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Nuclear Cardiology
Show Less
  • Hartford
  • Farmington
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Elwan, Ahmed M., MD Elwan, Ahmed M., MD 860.258.3477
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Hospital Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
Show Less
  • Wethersfield
Farrell, William Joseph, MD, FACC Farrell, William Joseph, MD, FACC 203.265.9831
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Interventional Cardiology
  • Nuclear Cardiology
Show Less
  • Wallingford
Feingold, Andrew David, MD, FACC Feingold, Andrew David, MD, FACC 860.522.0604
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Nuclear Cardiology
Show Less
  • Hartford
  • Avon
  • Glastonbury
Show Less
Ferraro-Borgida, Melissa Joy, MD, FACC Ferraro-Borgida, Melissa Joy, MD, FACC 860.522.5712
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Echocardiography
  • Internal Medicine
  • Nuclear Cardiology
Show Less
  • Hartford
  • Farmington
  • Manchester
Show Less
Fram, Daniel Bruce, MD Fram, Daniel Bruce, MD 860.972.5083
  • Interventional Cardiology
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
Show Less
  • Hartford
Golub, Robert Joel, MD, FACC Golub, Robert Joel, MD, FACC 203.265.9831
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Echocardiography
  • Nuclear Cardiology
Show Less
  • Wallingford
Gonzalez, Alex C., PA-C Gonzalez, Alex C., PA-C
4.9 /5
177 surveys
860.636.2010
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Middletown
  • Old Saybrook
Show Less
Granquist, John Dickson, MD, FACC Granquist, John Dickson, MD, FACC 860.522.0604
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant
  • Internal Medicine
Show Less
  • Hartford
  • Glastonbury
  • Windsor
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Haider, Jawad, MD, FACC, RPVI Haider, Jawad, MD, FACC, RPVI 860.242.8756
  • Interventional Cardiology
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
Show Less
  • Bloomfield
  • Hartford
  • Hartford
Show Less
Hanretta, Kelly Colleen, DO Hanretta, Kelly Colleen, DO 860.572.5400
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Mystic
  • Westerly
  • Willimantic
Show Less

Showing 1 - 25 of 55

Women’s Heart Wellness