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Women & Heart Disease


What is the greatest health challenge facing American women? Many are surprised to learn that it's cardiovascular disease (CVD). In fact, more American women die from CVD than from all forms of cancer combined.

For this reason, we invite all women to visit the Karen Yontz Women's Cardiac Awareness Center. This nationally recognized resource center strives to:

  • Give women the tools they need to avoid or manage cardiovascular disease risks
  • Increase awareness of the signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease in women
  • Alert people to the fact that heart disease is the leading killer of American women

Did you know:

  • 1 in 2 American women will die of heart disease or stroke; only 1 in 36 women will die of breast cancer
  • Only 54% of women recognize that CVD is their number one killer
  • 1 in 3 women has some form of CVD
  • 6.6 million American women today have some type of CVD
  • 64% of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have NO previous symptoms


Even though today's medical community is more aware that cardiovascular disease strikes both men and women in equal numbers, it is important to know that cardiovascular disease symptoms can be very different for women than they are for men. For example:

  • Some women have no symptoms while others experience dull, heavy to sharp chest pain or discomfort (angina), pain in the neck/jaw/throat or pain in the upper abdomen or back
  • Women are more likely to experience nausea, vomiting, jaw pain, back pain or shortness of breath during a heart attack; men are more likely to experience pain in the chest or arm
  • Many women noted at least one unusual symptom (e.g. unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances, shortness of breath, indigestion or anxiety) in the month before a heart attack


At Aurora, we want women to become more aware of their risks for CVD and take an active role in avoiding and managing them. Some ways to do this are:

  • Not smoking
  • Getting regular moderate physical activity
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Managing risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar levels

If you have several cardiovascular disease risks or are concerned about CVD, contact your doctor today. We’ll discuss prevention and treatment options so you can stay heart-healthy.

Why Aurora?

Aurora Health Care offers coordinated care for preventing, diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease. World-renowned heart and vascular specialists diagnose and treat all types of cardiovascular conditions and disorders using the most advanced state-of-the-art tools and technologies available today.

We have 15 hospitals and 155 clinics throughout eastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois so you can find a location that’s closest to you.

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Vaccine Update

We will be vaccinating our most vulnerable patients based on CDC guidelines. If you're our patient, we'll contact you to schedule when you become eligible.