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Heart Disease and Women Santa Monica, CA
Mother and Daughter

Did you know that heart disease accounts for a third of all deaths in women across the world? While you may associate heart attacks with men, the female population is under significant risk as well. According to the Women’s Heart Foundation, approximately 267,000 women die from heart attacks each year in the United States. That’s six times the death rate for breast cancer!

Now that you’ve got heart disease on your radar as a woman, you’ll also need to understand that there are risk factors and symptoms that are specific to your gender. Heart disease doesn’t always look the same in women as it does in men. Do you know what to watch out for?

A Women’s Heart Compared to a Man’s Heart

Women and men have different hearts – and we aren’t just talking about the level of compassion. First, a woman’s heart is smaller. It also distributes plaque differently. For example, the male heart distributes plaque in clumps whereas a female heart distributes more evenly throughout the artery walls. Why does this matter? This can make cardiovascular blood flow appear “normal” on x-rays or scans even though there is a dangerous level of plaque within the heart.

Female Risk Factors

Women are subject to specific risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension and obesity. In fact, women who smoke are at risk for having a heart attack 19 years earlier than non-smoking women, and women with diabetes have more than double the risk of heart attack than non-diabetic women.

Sadly, heart disease is now on the rise in younger women. 3 out of 10 women with heart attacks are under the age of 55! This may be due to the fact that younger women are not in tune with their health and risk factors at an earlier stage of life. Women also tend to wait longer than men to see a doctor when heart attack symptoms develop.

Preventing Heart Disease

Here’s a positive statistic: heart disease is 80 percent preventable! Regardless of your age as a woman, make the effort to establish heart healthy habits such as exercising, lowering salt intake and avoiding smoking and excess alcohol. Most importantly, see your primary care physician for regular checkups. At the office of Brent Michael MD, we do everything we can to help both male and female patients avoid the devastating effects of heart disease. Call our Santa Monica clinic today to schedule your heart check!

Posted on behalf of Brent J. Michael, MD

2001 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 880W
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Phone: 310-829-7777

FAX: 310-829-9951


Mon-Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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Our Patient Reviews

Brent J. Michael, MD

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 34 reviews

Tammy Siever

Dr. Michael is the most Caring Dr. I have had the privilege of having taking care of my health needs. His calm and personal demeanor is above and beyond what I have ever experienced. I have never had issues with the the waiting time but, if ever I did I would not complain because he is worth the wait. I get his complete attention the entire visit. When I leave I feel very confident that he has completely covered my heath needs from head to toe. I would recommend him to anyone who wants is concerned or wants a Dr. to be concerned about their health.

Gianpaolo von Nacher

Dr. Michael has been our family doctor for over 10 years. He has always been the main pillar in our family care; specially a few years ago when my father wouldn’t have been able to get through a very difficult period without his care. He always goes the extra mile. His staff is amazing. Anita, his nurse, always efficient, loving and caring. Aileen, in the front desk, always responsive and helpful. I’m very grateful to have them on our side.

Mark B

I could literally write pages about Dr. Michael. I thankfully met him and his staff over 13 years ago after I had been suffering from a serious lung infection for over a month that 2 other doctors had missed.- 1 due to being totally arrogant and thinking I just had a cold. I was burning up and so sick I could barely walk. Dr. Michael took the time and actually listened to me - instead of just saying its probably just the flu (as the other doctors had done) or just a cold and sending me home, he actually did a complete physical on me an then had the intuition to order a chest x ray on me (I was not even coughing at the time) and then really looked at it and discovered that I actually had a really serious lung infection and started me on antibiotics. While this may sound like no big deal - it actually was, as he actually saw that it was not a normal looking lung infection and I later learned he went above and beyond and had a infectious disease specialist look at the x ray just to be safe and as he suspected it was even more serious. Since that day he has always been my main doctor. I would also like to add that I have a serious long term health condition and most doctors would generally attribute many of my current and past health issues to my main condition (it usually is the case) but Dr. Michael always looks at whatever is happening to me at the moment as if I was a new patient. This is probably his biggest talent and gift as a doctor as he has on more than one occasion over the years thought outside the box with me and has figured out quickly why I was sick at the time - sometimes it was minor but more than a few times it was really serious. His quick way of thinking and knowledge and intuition is what kept me from getting sicker and going into the hospital. If you are looking for a doctor that actually treats you like a person and not a number then see this man. I am not a celebrity or a wealthy person - far from it - but he treats me like I am - many Vets like myself go to the VA and its a great blessing but I just do not have the energy to go there as its so big. Dr. Michael is seriously brilliant and really patient and I am truly thankful I found him.

Edward Dragavon

Dr. Michael takes the time to explain the meaning of medical terms and test results in a way that a lay person can understand. He is very thorough and answers any question that you may have. His staff is also very professional and competent at their tasks. Given a choice, I wouldn't go anywhere else.

Tim Whalen

Dr. Michael is an intelligent caring human being who is focused on positive outcomes. He has a great ability to synthesize the details of lab results and other tests into preventive measures. I greatly respect his approach to care.

William Barry

A very smart and caring doctor. Very intuitive and yet he will base his decisions on test data. Patient for over 10 years. 5 stars

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logo Brent J. Michael, MD Santa Monica, CA

Brent J. Michael, MD

2001 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 880W
Santa Monica, CA 90404



Mon-Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM