Women’s Health

Women’s Specialty Heart Health Program

Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for women in the United States. Yet many women underestimate their risk of developing heart disease during their lifetime. This may lead women to ignore the warning signs, or to put off seeking care.

My Cardiologist’s Women’s Specialty Heart Health Program ensures that women receive the best care for their hearts and all of their cardiovascular needs. We offer comprehensive preventive services, diagnostics, and treatment for a wide range of heart conditions.

Our cardiologists understand the unique risk factors that women face. We work with you to keep your heart healthy and strong through each stage of your life.

A Center of Excellence for Women’s Cardiovascular Health

My Cardiologist’s Women’s Specialty Heart Health Program is led by female cardiologists who have a special interest in women’s heart health. Services offered include:  

Prevention: Up to 70% of heart disease is preventable. Our cardiologists will assess your medical history and risk factors to develop a personalized care plan that best addresses your individual needs.
Diagnostic Testing: My Cardiologist offers a full range of laboratory tests, non-invasive tests and invasive tests.
Treatment: We offer advanced treatments from specialists in interventional cardiology, structural cardiology, electrophysiology, peripheral venous and arterial disease, and heart failure.

For appointments or questions, call (305) 666-4633.

Facts About Women and Heart Disease

  • 90% of women have at least one risk factor for heart disease.
  • Women may experience heart disease differently than men, which can contribute to their symptoms being dismissed or misdiagnosed.
  • Among females 20 years and older, nearly 45% live with some form of cardiovascular disease.

Heart Disease Risk Factors for Women

Men and women face many similar risk factors for heart disease. These include high blood pressure, high low-density (LDL) cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, smoking or second-hand smoke exposure, an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle.

Some of those risk factors are even more dangerous for women’s heart health. For example, studies show that women with diabetes tend to develop heart disease sooner than diabetic men. Women with diabetes also tend to have heart attacks at younger ages than men, and women’s heart attacks are more likely to be fatal.

The team at My Cardiologist’s Women’s Specialty Heart Health Clinic understands how risk factors can affect men and women differently and will help ensure women are empowered with the knowledge to prevent heart disease from developing or worsening.

Gender-Specific Risks for Cardiac Health

Women may also face gender-specific risks that affect their heart health. Often, these risk factors are not included in standard tools to estimate cardiovascular risk.  

Past Pregnancy Complications: During pregnancy, the heart needs to work extra hard to pump blood throughout the mother’s body and to support the fetus. The added stress may reveal heart problems that existed before the pregnancy or can lead to new problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or preeclampsia. Black women and Native American women are at even higher risk of these pregnancy-related complications.  

Menopause: As women enter menopause, they become more likely to develop atherosclerosis or a buildup of plaques in the arteries. As well, as women age, their “bad” cholesterol (LDL) also tends to rise, while “good” cholesterol (HDL) falls. This, too, can affect women’s heart health. Women who experienced early menopause (before age 45) may also be at higher risk of poorer cardiovascular health years later.    

Breast Cancer Treatments: Some chemotherapy drugs and radiation treatments can raise the risk of coronary artery disease. It’s very important for women with breast cancer and long-term breast cancer survivors to see a cardiologist with special expertise in oncology-related issues.

Autoimmune Diseases: Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and lupus are autoimmune diseases that occur when the immune system attacks the body’s own organs or tissues. Women are more likely than men to have an autoimmune disease, which is linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Women with autoimmune diseases can help protect their hearts by seeing a cardiologist with expertise in these conditions.

The Differences in Women’s and Men’s Heart Disease Symptoms

Women may also experience heart disease differently. Because their symptoms may be more subtle or less immediately recognizable as heart-related.

  • Women are more likely to dismiss their symptoms or delay seeking care.
  • When women seek care, they are 50 percent more likely to be misdiagnosed. 
  • In addition to the classic heart attack symptoms, women may experience extreme fatigue, lightheadedness, nausea, heart palpitations and sudden confusion.
  • Heart attack symptoms in both men and women often include chest pain, sweating, shortness of breath, and arm, neck, jaw or back pain.
  • Women are less likely to be referred to cardiac rehabilitation than men, and fewer women than men are prescribed medications such as statins and ACE inhibitors (a blood pressure medicine) to prevent future cardiac events.

Heart attack symptoms in both men and women often include chest pain, sweating, shortness of breath, and arm, neck, jaw or back pain. Women, however, are less likely to have some of those classic signs. Instead, they may experience extreme fatigue, lightheadedness, nausea, heart palpitations and sudden confusion.

Research also shows that there’s a gender gap after women have a heart attack. After a severe type of heart attack known as a STEMI (ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction), women are at an increased risk of developing heart failure.

Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle no longer pumps enough blood to meet the body’s needs. The reasons why women fare worse aren’t fully known. But women are less likely to be referred to cardiac rehabilitation than men, and fewer women than men are prescribed medications such as statins and ACE inhibitors (a blood pressure medicine) to prevent future cardiac events.

How My Cardiologist Supports Women’s Heart Health

My Cardiologist physicians have expertise in the heart health issues that women face. We will evaluate any signs and symptoms you may be experiencing and work with you to diagnose, treat and manage them over the long term.  

We collaborate with ob-gyns, oncologists and primary care physicians to ensure that the totality of women’s healthcare needs is addressed.

Some heart-related health conditions are more likely to affect Black and Hispanic women. We are also committed to ensuring all women receive the best possible care and to reaching diverse members of our community through community partnerships and outreach. 

Lifestyle Changes to Support Women’s Heart Health

There is a lot that women can do to maintain their cardiovascular health. Our Women’s Specialty Heart Health Program is here to support women in achieving these goals. We offer assistance with various lifestyle modification programs, including:

  • Dietary assessments
  • Onsite or telehealth support for weight loss via consultations with a registered dietitian
  • Smoking cessation assistance
  • Consultations with an exercise physiologist to help start an exercise program
  • Mental health and stress reduction

Meet Our Women’s Heart Specialists

Abbe Rosenbaum, MD, FACC
Dr. Abbe Rosenbaum completed her residency and cardiology fellowship at the University of Cincinnati. She has a Master of Public Health from Harvard University. Board-certified in cardiology and nuclear cardiology, she specializes in clinical cardiology and is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

Ana Victoria Soto-Quintela, MD, FACC, FASE
Dr. Ana Victoria Soto-Quintela specializes in general cardiology and advanced echocardiography. She is board certified in internal medicine, cardiology, and echocardiography. She is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American Society of Echocardiography.

Kristen Burton, MD
Dr. Kristen Burton is a cardiologist with a special interest in preventive care and noninvasive imaging for the diagnosis, surveillance, and management of various cardiac conditions. She is board certified in echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, and cardiac computed tomography (CT).

Lauren Frost, MD, FACC
Dr. Lauren Frost is board certified in cardiology, internal medicine, echocardiography, and nuclear cardiology. She is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and a Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretations. She has expertise in various cardiac imaging methods, including transesophageal and transthoracic echocardiography, nuclear imaging, and vascular ultrasound.

For appointments or questions, call (305) 666-4633.