Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.
Welcome to Indiana State Department of Health’s Office of Women’s Health webpage. The Office of Women’s Health (OWH) is so pleased that you have chosen to learn about how our state is working to help improve the health of women. We believe that every woman should have access to free, up-to-date and reliable resources to find out information about her health. The Office of Women’s Health wants to ensure that each woman and girl in Indiana is aware of her own health status, risks and goals, and can achieve optimal health through access, education and advocacy. Our website is inclusive of all OWH’s programs, and has a page of resources to help guide you in improving your health. If you have any questions or need information that is not included on our website, please feel free to call 317-233-9156 or email email@example.com. Thank you so much for visiting our site, and we wish you good health!
Laura Chavez, MPH, CLC, CHPE
Director, Office of Women’s Health
Heart disease, which can lead to heart attack and stroke, has been dubbed the “silent killer” among women. Given women’s busy lives today, often symptoms of heart disease are ignored, or blamed on acid reflux, indigestion, or even the flu.
In Indiana, almost one-third of all deaths are caused by heart disease and stroke. During 2013, 13,630 Indiana residents died from heart disease, making it the leading cause of death overall. Approximately 3,061 Indiana residents died from stroke during that same year.
Heart Attack Symptoms
According to the American Heart Association, women should seek immediate medical help if they experience the following symptoms:
The most common heart attack symptom for women is chest pain or discomfort. Women are more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
Stroke Warning Signs
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and Indiana. In addition, it’s among the leading causes of long-term disability. It is important for women to recognize signs of stroke, including:
Every minute counts!
Experts advise to never wait more than five minutes to dial 9-1-1 if you, or a loved one, experience even one of the signs above. In addition, the responding emergency medical technician or ER nurse at the hospital will need to know when the first symptom occurred, so if possible, make note of the time when symptoms first start.
Lifestyle Changes are the Key
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), modifying your lifestyle can cut your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. By maintaining a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and exercising regularly, women can reduce their chances of heart disease and stroke. In addition, limiting the use of alcohol and quitting the use of tobacco products can decrease risk.
The CDC’s Million Hearts Pledge outlines actions that can help reduce heart attacks and strokes. The Pledge encourages women to:
For more information, visit the Indiana State Department of Health website at www.in.gov/isdh/24970.htm.
Everybody feels sad or down occasionally, but when those feelings creep along from days into weeks and months, depression may be the culprit.
Depression is very common, but it is also quite serious. It occurs more frequently in women than in men. Many women suffer in silence, hoping the symptoms will go away on their own. The truth is that depression requires treatment, and with treatment women can recover. Some symptoms of depression include:
Treatment for depression may vary on the severity of an individual’s experience. However, some common forms of treatment and support include:
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, please talk to your doctor. Depression is not normal, and will not go away on its own. There is no shame in feeling better, so educate yourself, reach out and seek treatment. For more information, visit the National Institute of Mental Health or the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. If you are having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or chat online with trained professionals at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.
The Office of Women’s Health recognizes that advancements in women’s health do not happen on their own. There are many amazing women and men behind the scenes working to improve the health of our Indiana communities through tireless efforts and advocacy for women’s health. If you know an individual whose creativity, innovative work or diligent efforts have made a real difference in your community, and would like this individual considered to be highlighted in the “Movers and Shakers” section of the OWH webpage, please email Laura Chavez, Director of the Office of Women’s Health, at firstname.lastname@example.org.