Womens Heart Center
St. Luke's Women's Heart Center
Special Expertise in Women's Heart Health
For more information, or
to make an appointment,
call the Women's Heart
Center at 484-526-7800
or call St. Luke's InfoLink
toll-free at 1-866-STLUKES
Your heart is not just another accessory. In fact, it could be your number one health threat.
According to the American College of Cardiology, in the past 25 years, the number of women dying from coronary heart disease has eclipsed the number of men dying from the same condition. In fact, 52 percent of women compared to 42 percent of men experiencing a heart attack will die before they reach the emergency department. By placing a focus on women's heart disease, historically perceived by the general public as a man's disease, St. Luke's University Health Network is unique.
Three Female Cardiologists Focus on Atypical Symptoms of Women's Heart Disease
With three female cardiologists on staff, St. Luke's Heart & Vascular Center has launched a female-focused heart disease program that will include the same diagnostic and interventional offerings as the rest of the department. However, the advantages of developing such a program emerge in the benefits of raising awareness and providing a more comfortable environment for female patients.
Lynn Moran, DO
“It's surprising that it's 2012 and there is such a disparity between the care women get for heart disease and acute coronary syndrome versus that provided for men,” says Lynn Moran, DO, noninvasive cardiologist at St. Luke's University Health Network. “Hopefully, by offering this service and doing future outreach programs, we can bridge that gap and raise awareness regarding the toll cardiovascular disease takes on women.”
More about Dr. Moran
The program's special team of providers will work to increase patient and physician recognition of the atypical symptoms with which women can present, such as:
- Abdominal pain that might be written off as indigestion
- Clammy sweats
- Feelings of anxiety that can be attributed to personal stress
- Fatigue that could be seen as a sign of aging
- Metabolic syndromes
Lectures and other community outreach events are offered as part of the program and Women's Heart Center Cardiologists work in conjunction with other women-specific services at St. Luke's University Health Network, such as gynecology and obstetrics.
Anne Mani, MD
“The overall goal of our department is to service the cardiac needs of the community, and this is a way for us to target patients that we think are underrepresented in our practice,” says Anne Mani, MD, cardiologist at St. Luke's University Health Network. “Our hope is that by creating this section in the group, we will allow women to realize they are represented and they have the option of seeing a female cardiologist.”
More about Dr. Mani
St. Luke's Heart & Vascular Center's three female cardiologists note that they and other female providers are aware of the reality that women may not fully discuss medical concerns when seen by male providers. The dynamic between women is often calming and reassuring when dealing with difficult and personal medical issues.
Dwithiya Thomas, MD
“We're going to be providing traditional cardiac services offered by any cardiology practice — office visits, diagnostic testing and procedures, the full gamut,” says Dwithiya Thomas, MD, cardiologist at St. Luke's University Health Network. “The difference is that we understand and can relate to the difficulties that women face on a daily basis, as well as the physical and emotional toll of heart disease in general, especially as it relates to women. We are women providing care for women.”
More about Dr. Thomas
Remember know the symptoms – Dial 911
If you experience symptoms, do not drive yourself to the hospital or allow someone to drive you. Call 911. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) can start treating you upon arrival in communication with an Emergency Department physician. While waiting for EMS:
- STOP what you are doing
- Sit or lie down
- Stay calm
- Crush or chew a full-strength aspirin (swallow with a glass of water) to prevent further blood clotting
It is important to have a list of all the medicines (prescription and over-the-counter), vitamins and supplements you take.
Risks can be reduced
Women can reduce their risk by leading a healthy lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet, exercising and avoiding smoking can dramatically reduce their risk. If they have high blood pressure, lowering their blood pressure and controlling their cholesterol can dramatically reduce their risk.
What You Can Do
Take the opportunity to learn all you can about heart disease and its devastating effects on women. Together, we can change the statistics.
Many women delay getting medical care for heart attacks for several reasons:
- They don't know the heart attack warning signs and symptoms
- They falsely believe that women don’t have heart attacks
- They are pre-occupied with family responsibilities
- They can't get childcare or transportation
- They don't want to impose their needs on others
- They may be depressed
Don't become a heart attack statistic - learn all you can about heart attack warning signs and symptoms. If you are having symptoms, call 911, take an aspirin to prevent further blood clotting, and demand that the emergency room staff take your complaints seriously. Make sure the doctor gives you an EKG and/or blood enzyme test to see if you are having a heart attack.