Women’s Heart Health

Join us to advance the understanding of heart and vascular disease in women, how to prevent it and how to optimize heart health.


Our efforts will be realized through cutting edge research, clinical care and community programming.

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death of women, claiming one in three women’s lives. Understanding your risks of CVD and knowing the symptoms may save your life. Don’t be alarmed, just be aware!

  • Compared to men, women are less likely to receive optimal therapies, innovations and rehabilitation.
  • Women are underrepresented in clinical research.
  • For many women, it can be all too easy to focus on others while putting their own needs aside. That tendency can impact a woman’s health, especially the health of her heart. Family and friends can help women take care of themselves and their heart health. 

Dr. Betty Grey on SCAD

WCCO interviewed Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation researcher, Dr. Elizabeth Grey, about a certain type of heart attack that is striking a growing number of women in their late 30s and 40s. It’s called SCAD — spontaneous coronary artery dissection. Dr. Grey states, “They are different from a typical heart attack…there is a spontaneous tear in an artery that is apparently healthy.”  She goes on to say that this type of heart attack can affect women as young as 20 and as old as 80. Research is currently looking at predisposition and prevention.

Tracey Conway - Pay Attention to Your Heart

Tracey Conway, keynote speaker at the 2018 Women’s Event: Hope, Health & Humor, encourages women to pay attention to your own heart. 

Meet Jamie

For parents expecting a baby, excitement and uncertainty are a normal part of the journey. For new parents Jamie and David, however, they never imagined the situation they would face. When Jamie was 31 weeks pregnant with their son Carson, they learned that not only did she need to give birth via C-section nine weeks early, but simultaneously undergo open heart surgery to replace a heart valve and save her life.

Dr. Retu Saxena explains conditions that increase risk

Dr. Retu Saxena explains conditions specific to women that increase your risk of heart disease. 


News & Events


Valentine’s Day TC 5K

MHIF is proud to be the presenting sponsor for Twin Cities in Motion's Valentine’s Day TC 5K again this year! Walk or run with us on February 9, 2019! This year's race will help raise awareness for women's heart health research.


Why do women wait longer to seek help for a heart attack?

MHIF Researcher and Prevention Cardiologist, Dr. Michael Miedema was interviewed on Kare11 over the holidays...


Dr. Burke Talks Holiday Spike in Heart Attacks on WCCO Radio

A recent study revealed that the risk of heart attack spikes on Christmas Eve. Specifically,...


Women’s Event: Hope, Health & Humor

Gather your favorite women and join us for an evening of Hope, Health & Humor.


Know Your Risk

Talk about your cardiovascular disease risk score with your healthcare provider. Or, calculate yourself and discuss at your next visit. 

Reduce Your Risk

View the links below to watch videos by MHIF researchers to learn how to reduce your risk:

Heart Health Eating

Stress Management

Weight Management


Take Symptoms Seriously

Typical symptoms in both women and men:

Pain, pressure, squeezing or stabbing pain in the chest

Pain radiating to neck, shoulder, back, arm or jaw

Pounding heart, change in rhythm

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Heartburn, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain

Cold sweats or clammy skin

Weakness, unusual tiredness or anxiety

Lightheadedness or dizziness

If you have any symptoms, call 911.



The Broadening the Role of OB-GYNs in Assessing Cardiovascular Health (BROACH) initiative aims to educate younger women – and the provider they see most often, an OB-GYN – about recognizing and treating cardiovascular risk.

Research has shown that OB-GYNs are the primary care providers for a large percentage of women, particularly young minority women. BROACH aims to increase the number of women receiving cardiovascular risk factor screening at their annual OB-GYN visits by identifying the tools, resources and education needs identified from both the provider and patient perspective.

Publications & Lectures

Read MHIF published research articles & papers as well as view women’s heart health related Grand Rounds lectures

Other Studies

Registry for Patients with Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

Revascularization-Based Strategy and Subsequent Outcomes
among Patients with Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection
Presenting as ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (SCAD-STEMI)

Stress Cardiomyopathy (SCM) Database

Recurrent Takotsubo Syndrome: Frequency, Patient Profile and Outcomes

Reverse Cardiac Remodeling in Takotsubo Syndrome

Stress Cardiomyopathy and Impact of Psychosocial Aspects on
Outcomes and Recurrence