MetroHealth Heart & Vascular Center
Women's Heart Health
To obtain or make a referral, call 216-778-BEAT (2328).
As part of the MetroHealth Heart & Vascular Center, the Women's Heart Center provides the highest quality cardiovascular care to women in an innovative and healing environment, with a unique focus on prevention, education and a multidisciplinary, integrated approach to promoting women’s health.
The Women’s Heart Center has developed a unique program offering a full range of preventative, diagnostic and treatment options, designed to address the unique aspects of cardiovascular disease in women. The MetroHealth Heart & Vascular Center offers the largest and most diverse group of women cardiologists in the Cleveland area encompassing all areas of cardiovascular diagnosis and treatment. Services include:
- Consultation and coordination of multidisciplinary diagnostic and therapeutic services for women with known or suspected cardiovascular diseases, including coronary artery disease, valvular disease and arrhythmias.
- Comprehensive cardiac risk factor assessment
- Preventive strategies for long-term risk reduction in women at increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Cholesterol and glucose analysis
- Blood pressure and body mass index evaluation
- Smoking cessation
- Exercise, weight reduction and nutritional counseling
- Comprehensive risk/benefit analysis of postmenopausal hormone therapy based on the results of the most recent clinical trials.
- Perinatal diagnosis and treatment of women with known heart or valvular disease, or new onset of heart disease associated with pregnancy
- Cardiac Rehabilitation and Weight reduction classes
Because the numbers of older women and women at risk in the population are growing, the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are vital. Clinicians must take action to prevent these diseases before warning signs appear or a heart attack or stroke occurs. Prevention and control of risk factors must start when a woman is young and continue throughout her life. Today's woman takes on many more roles than the traditional homemaker. She is colleague, friend and community leader, to name a few. But even if she works outside the home, she also may be the primary source of health information for her family. She provides guidance on:
- Nutritious meals
- Physical activities
- Healthier habits
- Healthier kids
The Women’s Heart Center’s goal is not only to improve the delivery of care to women, but to take an active role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in women. We place a major emphasis on screening and education, following the NIH and AHA Guidelines for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in women.
Primary Prevention Guidelines
Smoking Cessation and Smoke Avoidance
Women are asked about smoking status and exposure to passive smoke. Reinforcement is given to patients who are nonsmokers. Smokers and their families are strongly encouraged to stop smoking and to avoid other people's tobacco smoke. Counseling, nicotine replacement or adjunctive therapy and formal cessation programs are provided as appropriate.
Blood Pressure Control
Blood pressure is measured in all adults every routine visit. Lifestyle modification – weight control, physical activity, alcohol moderation and moderate sodium restriction- is recommended for blood pressure control. If blood pressure is 140/90 mm Hg or greater after three months of life habit modification, or if initial blood pressure is greater than 160/100 mm Hg, blood pressure medication is added and tailored to the patient's other requirements and characteristics.
Women are asked about dietary habits in routine exams. Total and HDL cholesterol are measured in all adults 20 years and older and risk factors are assessed at least every five years. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is measured if the patient's cholesterol levels are one of the following:
- Total cholesterol 240 mg/dL or greater
- Total cholesterol 200 mg/dL or greater with 2 or more risk factors
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) less than 40 mg/dL
The primary goal is LDL less than 160 mg/dL if the patient has no more than one risk factor, or LDL less than 130 mg/dL if the person has two or more risk factors. Secondary goals for the general population are HDL more than 40 mg/dL and triglycerides less than 150 mg/dL. Many physicians feel that HDL more than 50 mg/dL is more appropriate for women.
In patients whose LDL exceeds these goals, the AHA Step II Diet is started -- less than 30 percent of calories as fat, less than 7 percent of calories as saturated fat, and less than 200 mg of dietary cholesterol -- as well as weight control. Drug therapy is considered in patients with high LDL levels that persist despite the Step II Diet.
Women are asked about exercise habits in routine exams. At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity is encouraged on most days of the week (brisk walking, jogging, cycling or other aerobic activity) as well as increased daily lifestyle activities for inactive persons. Regular exercise improves conditioning and promotes optimum fitness. Medically supervised programs are advised for those with low functional capacity and/or other health problems.
Patients' weight and height, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference are measured as part of routine exams. The goal is to achieve and maintain desirable weight, defined as a BMI range of 21-25 kg/m2 (BMI of 25 kg/m2 corresponds to 110 percent of desirable body weight). A desirable waist circumference for women is no more than 88 cm or 35 inches. Weight management and physical activity is started as appropriate.
Caution about estrogen or other postmenopausal hormone therapy (PHT) in postmenopausal women, is discussed, especially with those with multiple coronary risk factors such as elevated LDL cholesterol. Recommendations are individualized consistent with the patient's other health risks and the benefits and risks of PHT. In younger women, patients are advised of the risk of taking birth control pills if they smoke.
Individualized and couples Heart Screening is offered through the Women’s Heart Center. Comprehensive risk screening includes:
- Computerized risk profile report
- Blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose analysis
- Weight, Waist circumference and body mass evaluation
- Individual consultation with a nurse specialist
The package is available for $40 per person, or $60 when you come with a spouse, friend or family member.
The highly skilled Women’s Heart Center staff understands the complexity of women’s health and provides personalized health care recommendations, including referrals to other special services that a woman may need. These special services may include:
- Osteoporosis screening
- Breast Cancer screening
- Diabetes Clinic
- Internal Medicine Clinic
- Nicotine Dependence Counseling and Smoking Cessation
- Patient and Health Education Center
- Stress management consultation
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Nutrition/Weight Management Counseling
- Social Work/ Family Violence Counseling
Women may be referred to the Women's Heart Center by their primary physician, or may request an appointment on their own. Call 216-778-BEAT (2328) to make an appointment.