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Women's unique Heart Health needs

Updated: Jul 12, 2020

A wholistic approach to thinking about women's unique heart symptoms and concerns during American Heart Health Month

For the ZCML February General meeting, Nurse Practitioner and Zister Maria Mederos lead a workshop that examined women's unique heart health concerns. As February is American Heart Month, this month's meeting an ideal time to remind members to focus on their hearts and encourage them to get their families, friends and communities involved.

Highlighting the importance of not just looking at physical cues, Maria noted the importance of the whole person in heart health. She stressed that women own feelings, thought processes, and environment shape their responses to and eventual health outcomes. From this presentation, zisters learned:

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing 299,578 women in 2017—or about 1 in every 5 female deaths.

  • Heart attack symptoms unique to women include chest pain or discomfort, upper back or neck pain, indigestion, heartburn, nausea or vomiting, extreme fatigue, upper body discomfort, dizziness, and shortness of breath

  • Arrhythmia symptoms for women include fluttering feelings in the chest (palpitations)

  • Heart failure for women is characterized by shortness of breath, fatigue, or swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, abdomen, or neck veins

Maria's presentation elicited a lot discussion among members about prevention, treatment, and proactive measures. An alumnus of Florida International University and Florida Atlantic University, and a long time Miami Lakes resident, Maria is the owner of Best of Me Wellness and Aesthetic Center. ZCML always has informative, relevant speakers at our monthly meetings relevant to current issues we support, build supportive networks, and provide educational opportunities to members.

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