Holding women’s health close to our hearts

CVS Health

Women’s health is something I hold close to my heart. Not only because I’m a woman, but because after working in health care for many years, I’ve seen the challenges women face when trying to access care. Women face unique health concerns — some of which are more pressing than others. With American Heart Month recognized in February, now is a great time to educate yourself and the women in your life on the importance of cardiovascular health.

According to the CDC, heart disease is the number one cause of death of women in the U.S. each year – meaning 1-in-3 deaths among our loved ones are a result of poor heart health. The simple truth is that although most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented with education and preventive action, only 44 percent of women in the U.S. recognize that cardiovascular disease is their greatest health threat. However, more than 90 percent have one or more risk factors that make them more susceptible. Given those numbers, it’s important to know your risks and potential symptoms.

MinuteClinic® at CVS is an accessible, affordable and convenient resource that provides the high-quality services women need to screen for risks and help them prioritize heart health.

Similar to any disease, the best way to spot poor heart health is through screenings and monitoring. Here are some of the ways we support women’s heart health and education at MinuteClinic:

Women should regularly monitor five key numbers: LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and body mass index. Having uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to heart disease. And high blood sugar can also add to complications. If you aren’t able to visit your primary care doctor, opt to visit a MinuteClinic where our providers offer tailored screenings that evaluate your current condition. From high blood pressure monitoring and cholesterol tests to congestive heart failure care, we treat women’s health with the utmost importance.

Our commitment to heart health is another way that CVS Health supports women’s whole health. From menstruation care and pelvic pain evaluations to annual wellness exams, MinuteClinic offers a variety of affordable, accessible healthcare services for conditions women may experience along their lifelong health journey.

For example, although menopause doesn’t cause heart disease, it’s a time when cardiovascular risk factors accelerate. To help, we offer menopause treatment where we walk with women through significant changes that they’re experiencing. Factors like weight gain can also accelerate women’s risk for heart disease. Thankfully, MinuteClinic’s lifestyle program helps patients make healthier choices with fitness and their diet to foster good health.

Mood disorders like depression and chronic stress are also risk factors associated with heart disease. Evidence shows that it’s possible for people with long-term depression, anxiety and stress to experience increased heart rate and blood pressure, which can ultimately lead to heart disease. Women who suffer from mental health concerns may also choose to overindulge in smoking or alcohol. Though many don’t connect the two, poor mental health directly impacts your physical well-being. To help with both, we offer comprehensive mental health counseling where women of all ages can be seen and treated for their concerns.

CVS Health is a proud national sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women® movement to empower women to take charge of their heart health. This year, as we continue our partnership, I’m encouraging you and all of the women you care about to take the time to get assessed for heart health and take any steps that may be needed to be the healthiest you can be.


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