Heart Disease: An Overview

The experts at The Heart Hospital at St. Joseph’s/Candler can help with both routine and complex cardiovascular conditions. As the first hospital in the region to receive full accreditation as a Chest Pain Center from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, our board-certified cardiovascular specialists can provide expertise with both diagnosis and treatment for cardiovascular issues.

Heart disease, a leading killer of both men and women, can present itself in a variety of ways. Along with the classic symptoms of a heart attack, such as chest pain, it is crucial to be aware of the not-so-obvious symptoms, including back, shoulder or stomach pain, anxiety, fatigue or cold sweats.

Women usually experience heart disease later in life when other health complications, such as arthritis and osteoporosis, can mask the symptoms of a heart attack. It is also common for men and women to put off going to the hospital because they attribute their pain or other irregular symptoms to non-cardiac causes such as indigestion. This is why it's crucial to know the typical and atypical warning signs.

Treatment of a heart attack requires improving the blood flow to the heart muscle as quickly as possible. It is critical that a person having a heart attack seek medical attention immediately so the best treatment option is available to the individual. 

Risk Factors You Can Change

Some of the risks for heart disease that you CAN change are:
  • Not smoking. If you do smoke, quit.
  • Controlling your cholesterol through diet, exercise, and medicines.
  • Controlling high blood pressure through diet, exercise, and medicines, if needed.
  • Controlling diabetes through diet, exercise, and medicines, if needed.
  • Exercising at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Keeping to a healthy weight by eating healthy foods, eating less, and joining a weight loss program, if you need to lose weight.
  • Learning healthy ways to cope with stress through special classes or programs, or things like meditation or yoga.
  • Limiting how much alcohol you drink to 1 drink a day for women and 2 a day for men.

Classic Warning Signs

  • Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes
  • Pain spreading to shoulders, neck or arms
  • Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath

Atypical or Unusual Symptoms

  • Back, jaw, neck, stomach or abdominal pain
  • Dizziness, nausea or vomiting accompanied by classic warning signs
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Unexplained anxiety, weakness or fatigue accompanied by classic warning signs
  • Palpitations, cold sweat or paleness accompanied by classic warning signs

Contact Us

For a physician referral to The Heart Hospital, call St. Joseph's/Candler CareCall at (800) 622-6877.

  • St. Joseph's Hospital Campus: 11705 Mercy Blvd., Savannah, GA 31419, (p) 912-819-4100
  • Candler Hospital Campus: 5353 Reynolds St., Savannah, GA 31405, (p) 912-819-6000
  • Find us on:

St.Joseph's Hospital Campus: 912-819-4100

Candler Hospital Campus: 912-819-6000