A Woman's Heart is Different
The Women's Cardiovascular Center provides comprehensive cardiovascular medical care to women, with a special focus on prevention. A multidisciplinary team of providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians and exercise physiologists, has specialized expertise in preventive cardiology, coronary artery disease, heart failure, arrhythmia, valve disease, vascular disease, pregnancy and heart disease.
Cardiovascular disease is NOT just a man’s disease. Cardiovascular disease is the Number 1 killer of women over age 25 in the United States, regardless of race or ethnicity. The death rate from cardiovascular diseases has decreased among men, but continues to increase in women.
Unfortunately, more than 46% of women are unaware that heart disease is the greatest health problem facing women today. 1 When surveyed, most women believed that cancer was the leading cause of death in women, but cardiovascular disease is the single leading cause of death for women in America and most developed countries, and claims the lives of more women than all forms of cancer combined.
- Worldwide, 8.6 million women die from heart disease each year.2
- In the US, there are more than 8 million women currently living with heart disease.2
- About 6 million American women have coronary heart disease.3
- In the US, heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD) claim almost 420,000 lives each year. That's about one death each minute.1
- 1 in 3 American women will die of heart disease.3
- An estimated 435,000 American women have heart attacks annually. Nearly two-thirds of the deaths from heart attacks in women occur among those who have no history of chest pain.2
- 42% of women who have heart attacks die within 1 year, compared to 24% of men.2
- Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease and the gap between men and women’s survival continues to widen.2
- FACTS - Cardiovascular Disease: Women's No. 1 Health Threat. American Heart Association.
- Women and Heart Disease Fact Sheet. Women's Heart Foundation.
- Subtle and Dangerous: Symptoms of Heart Disease in Women. National Institute of Nursing Research.
- Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics--2011 Update : A Report From the American Heart Association. American Heart Association.
What We Treat
At the Women’s Cardiovascular Center, women can get comprehensive heart care, designed to meet their unique needs with a focus on preventive care including:
- Risk factors for heart disease (high cholesterol, high blood pressure)
- Address estrogen and hormone replacement therapy in the face of heart disease
In addition our health care professionals offer specialty services for women with:
- Symptoms of heart disease
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart failure
- Valve disease
- Vascular disease
- Pregnancy and heart disease
- Arrhythmias (abnormal heart beats)
- High-risk conditions such as rheumatologic disease, diabetes, obesity, polycystic ovarian disease, post-menopausal status
Our multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurse practitioners, dietitians, exercise physiologists and other health-care professionals is devoted to providing excellent care to women with cardiovascular disease and to help women prevent heart disease. The center also is designed to accommodate women who request a female provider.
Why choose Cleveland Clinic for your care?
Our outcomes speak for themselves. Please review our facts and figures and if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.
Our team of health care professionals is world renown in the treatment of cardiovascular disease in men and women. We treat women in our Center from all over the world and more than 31 states.
Our Medical Team
Leslie Cho, MD specializes in cardiovascular medicine, internal medicine, interventional cardiology and peripheral vascular disease.
After graduating from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Dr. Cho completed her internship and residency at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Dr. Cho completed her fellowship in cardiology, interventional cardiology and peripheral disease at Cleveland Clinic. Prior to becoming Director of the Women’s Cardiovascular Center, Dr. Cho directed the Interventional Cardiology Research Program at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago.
- Julie Huang, MD specializes in clinical cardiology and preventive cardiology.
Dr. Huang graduated from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, after which she completed her internship and residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital and her fellowship at Cleveland Clinic.
- Ellen Mayer Sabik, MD specializes in echocardiography, valvular heart disease and heart disease in women.
Dr. Sabik graduated from Harvard University Medical School in Boston. She completed her internship and residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, also in Boston. From there, she completed her fellowships at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and Cleveland Clinic.
The Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute’s team includes specialists in Electrophysiology (Abnormal Heart Rhythms) and Heart Failure in women.
Nurse Practitioners: Advanced Practice Nurses
- Julia Renee Zumpano RD, LD - Nutrition Counseling
- Katherine Patton, MEd, RD, CSSD, LD - Nutrition Counseling
What to Expect
Whether you are coming from around the corner or around the world, you want to know what to expect before, during and after your visit with us. If you have any questions while reviewing this information, please contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.
Before your appointment
If you are scheduled at least one week away, you will be asked to send in your records, including medical history, test results and films (such as echocardiogram, ultrasound, chest x-ray, MRI or CT as applicable). All information should be sent in the same package (clearly marked with your name and address) via Airborne Express, Federal Express, or certified U.S. mail (make sure you have a tracking number) to the physician with which you have an appointment. The address to mail your records is:
Women’s Cardiovascular Center
9500 Euclid Avenue, JB - 1
Cleveland, Ohio 44195
If you are scheduled less than one week out, please bring your records and films to your appointment.
When you make your appointment, you will also receive a packet of paperwork which asks you about your risk factors, lifestyle habits, allergies, medications, medical history, symptoms you are having, and history of heart or vascular disease. Please complete the paperwork before your appointment.
On the day of your appointment, please fast for 12-hours prior to your visit (no food or drink, except water) so that any laboratory testing can be performed during your appointment.
Traveling to Cleveland Clinic
When you make your appointment, we would like to make traveling to Cleveland Clinic as easy as possible. Information on travel to the Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute.
During your appointment
You will meet with a medical assistant who will begin to collect medical history information, medications, allergies, take your measurements, including blood pressure and begin the documentation process.
Tests and Procedures
To evaluate your condition, your health care team will conduct a review of your risk factors for heart disease, what you have done in the past to prevent heart disease, a medical history, an assessment of symptoms and a physical exam. Your physician may also order one or more of the following tests to help evaluate your condition:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Ultrasound Tests - such as the echocardiogram, pulse volume recordings and vascular ultrasound
- Stress Test
- Blood Tests
Cleveland Clinic Women's Cardiovascular Center offers a variety of additional services to help women get - and stay - heart healthy.
Specialized activity programs can help reduce the risk of heart disease as well as help women who currently are being treated for heart disease. We offer:
- individual exercise prescriptions
- cardiac rehabilitation
- peripheral arterial disease rehabilitation
A wide range of nutrition services are offered by experienced and specialized registered dietitians, including:
- one-to-one counseling
- shared medical appointments
- group weight loss programs
- culinary classes
- online information
The following programs are available to help with lifestyle modification:
- smoking cessation
- one-to-one depression/anxiety counseling for those with heart disease
How long will you need to stay at Cleveland Clinic?
To complete all testing, you will need to stay in the Cleveland area for one day.
After your visit
Patients are generally seen back at the Center at three months to one year depending on their medical condition or needs. In between visits, our team of Nurse Practitioners are available to answer your questions and address preventive cardiology issues, as well as other urgent needs.
Locally 216.444.9353 or toll-free 800.223.2273, ext. 49353
When you make your appointment, ask the administrative assistant for the name of your physician and desk number. You will be told to go to Desk J2 - 4 or Desk M41, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.
Use our secure online form to submit an appointment request 24/7. We will receive it and follow-up with you as soon as possible.
Mon. - Fri., 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (ET):
Locally 216.444.9353 or toll-free 800.223.2273, ext. 49353
At all other times call Patient Access Services locally 216.444.8302 or toll-free 800.553.5056.
Research For Patients
To improve women’s care for the future, the Women's Cardiovascular Center engages in research efforts that focus on improving outcomes for women with cardiovascular disease.
Preventive Cardiology & Rehabilitation Program is a clinical program (outpatient clinic) that utilizes a multidisciplinary team of providers to prevent the occurrence or progression of cardiovascular disease in women. Those who have heart disease or have been treated for heart disease stand to benefit the most. Anyone who wants to lower her risk for heart or vascular disease is a candidate. For additional information, call our toll free number 800.223.1696 (or 800.CCF.1696).
- More information on Heart & Vascular Institute Research
- Women and Heart Failure
- Health Information Center
American Heart Association National Center
7272 Greenville Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75231
Phone: 800.AHA.USA1 or 800.242.8721
818 18th Street, NW, Suite 930
Washington, DC 20006
Office on Women's Health
Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW Room 712E
Washington, DC 20201
Contact form: womenshealth.gov
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Health Information Center
Attention: The Heart Truth
P.O. Box 30105
Bethesda, MD 20824-0105
7272 Greenville Avenue
Dallas, TX 75231
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20894
- includes MedlinePlus Health Information, ClinicalTrials.gov and many other links to health information
Heart Health Tips
The Professionals at Cleveland Clinic Women's Cardiovascular Center and Women's Health Center Offer These Tips
- Know the facts. Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women over age 25 in the United States.
- Don’t smoke. Even one or two cigarettes a day dramatically increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and other serious conditions.
- Exercise. Just 30 minutes of brisk walking reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer, too.
- Manage your weight. Normal body mass index (BMI) ranges from 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2. A BMI higher than 27 is considered overweight, while a BMI higher than 30 indicates obesity.
- Follow a heart-healthy diet. Eat foods that are low in saturated fat, cholesterol and trans fat (partially hydrogenated fats). Also eat plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, nuts and whole grains. Remember, trans fatty acids are bad fats.
- Know your family history and get tested. Ask your doctor about the ultrasensitive C- reactive protein (us-CRP) blood test. Elevated us-CRP levels are related to an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and restenosis of coronary arteries after an interventional procedure.
- Manage diabetes. People with diabetes — especially women — have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease because diabetes increases other risk factors, such as elevated cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Keeping diabetes under control is essential in reducing your risk.
- Monitor your blood pressure. Normal blood pressure should be below 120/80 mm/Hg. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, the goal is to lower your blood pressure to less than 140/80 mm/Hg. If you have high blood pressure along with diabetes or kidney disease, the blood pressure goal is less than 130/80 mm/Hg. Please ask your doctor what blood pressure level is right for you.
- Monitor your cholesterol levels. Total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL. Triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dL. LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol, should be under 130 mg/dL for most people. LDL should be less than 100 mg/dL for those with a high risk of heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease, such as some patients with diabetes or those who have multiple risk factors. For patients who already have cardiovascular disease, your goal may be less than 70 mg/dL. Please ask your doctor what cholesterol level is right for you.
- Know the symptoms of a heart attack. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience the following symptoms for longer than five minutes and they are not relieved by rest or medications: pain or discomfort in the center of the chest or other areas of the upper body, including the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach. Other symptoms can include shortness of breath, breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light-headedness. Do not delay seeking treatment.