While stroke is the third most common cause of death for American women, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and the leading cause of disability among women in the United States. At Portsmouth Regional Hospital, our goal is to help you enjoy a long and active life through better heart health.

Specialized Care for Women

Women often experience heart disease and its symptoms differently than do men. Our team of cardiologists, heart and vascular surgeons, cardiac nurses and cardiovascular technicians is highly skilled in detecting and treating women's heart care issues.

You benefit from our wide range of noninvasive and minimally invasive procedures, which result in fewer complications, less pain, and faster return to regular activities. If surgery is required, trust your care to the only cardiac surgery program in the New Hampshire Seacoast region, where our surgeons are widely known for their exceptional skills and expertise.

Learn about the full range of heart and vascular care available at Portsmouth Regional Hospital.

Advanced Technology for Better Results

You have access to advanced technology through our Heart & Vascular Institute. Our Cardiac Cath Labs are equipped with the GE Innova, a fully digital system that gives our specialists comprehensive imaging tools for a broad range of diagnostic and interventional procedures. Designed to ensure optimal patient safety and comfort, the Innova system enables precision positioning at high speeds, minimizing procedure time and improving the delivery of care.

Many minimally invasive treatments take place in our specially equipped hybrid operating room, which allows us to transition quickly to traditional surgery in the same room if surgery is required. This innovative environment reduces risks by eliminating delays.

Find out more about advanced tools and technology to diagnose and treat heart disease.

Know the Symptoms of Heart Disease in Women

Understanding your risk for a heart attack is the first step in maintaining your health. Learn to recognize the symptoms of heart disease and cardiac arrest so you can react promptly to receive the care you need.

Women develop heart disease an average of 10 years later than men. Because they do not always experience symptoms commonly associated with a heart attack such as chest pain or tightness, women are less likely to seek appropriate medical attention.

The most common symptoms of heart attack in women are:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the lower chest, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Upper back pressure or feeling as if a rope is tied around you and is squeezing you
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness or extreme fatigue

As with men, the most common heart attack symptom in women is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor for a full evaluation. This is especially important if you have risk factors for heart disease—including smoking, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia or a family history of heart disease. If further care is recommended, your doctor will refer you to a cardiology specialist.

Time = Muscle

If you suspect you may be having a heart attack, act promptly to help retain as much healthy heart muscle as possible. Call 911 immediately. Treatment can begin as soon as emergency personnel arrive, giving you the best chance of survival and full recovery.

To learn more about heart disease, including prevention and treatment, visit the Heart Disease Center at our online Health Library.