Women's Heart Health

What Makes Women Different?

Men and women can be very different when it comes to matters of the heart, and that’s just as true for matters of heart health. Heart disease is RISING among women. The good news is that the majority of risk factors that cause heart diseases such as smoking, diabetes, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, high-stress levels, and high cholesterol can be controlled or treated.

If you are receiving this booklet from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and have been diagnosed with heart disease, we highly recommend that you participate in one of our cardiac rehabilitation program options, including our Women at Heart Program, after your discharge from hospital. This simple step can significantly decrease the chances of a future cardiac event and improve your chances of leading a healthy life in your future. This includes women who have had a heart attack, had a stent inserted, had heart surgery or a heart disease diagnosis, such as SCAD (Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection). Even if you have had treatment for your heart disease, you still have heart disease and would greatly benefit from attending our rehabilitation program after your treatment.

DID YOU KNOW? After a heart attack, heart surgery or a heart disease diagnosis, attendance in a cardiac rehab program can reduce the chances of you being re-admitted to hospital by 31%! It also lowers your mortality by 25% (Cdn. Guidelines for Cardiac Rehabilitation and CVD Prevention, March 2009). Despite this clear benefit, women are only half as likely as men to attend and adhere to the program. Many women don’t know they are at risk after an event or even after a treatment they received. That can change beginning right now, with you.

Key Messages:

  • Know your risk factors. It’s never too late to start making healthy changes.
  • When in doubt, check it out! Call 911 or seek immediate medical care if you think you are having any possible heart-related symptoms.
  • Attend a free cardiac rehabilitation program (on-site and home program options available)
  • Join the Women at Heart Program: led by women with heart disease for women with heart disease

The Heart Institute’s Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre aims to provide leadership in the development, implementation, and evaluation of cardiovascular prevention and management strategies to improve women’s cardiovascular health.

For more information or to enrol in a program right now please call: 613-696-7068

You can also visit our website for more information:
Visit www.ottawaheart.ca/clinical-department/cardiac-prevention-rehabilitation or www.yourheart.ca to learn more about the programs we offer for heart disease prevention and support!