Management of Cardiovascular Disease in Women


  • 1-day course for 6.5 contact hours (0.65 CEUs)
  • See registration section of this website for upcoming dates/locations near you
  • Don’t see a date or location that is convenient, contact morgan@goodhearted.org to host this course at your facility

Course Description: 1 in 3 female deaths each year are due to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Fewer women than men survive their first heart attack, and symptoms are different in women and men which is often misunderstood by both women and their physicians. Because of this, the diagnosis and treatment of CVD in women must have a different approach. However, in the typical CVD trial, 85% of the study participants are male further complicating the ability to draw conclusions on the medical management of CVD in women. Woman are less likely to go to Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) programs and are more likely to drop out of the program than men. Thus, do CR programs designed exclusively for women benefit women patients? This session is designed to highlight the differences in clinical presentation and present the updated guidelines on prevention and treatment of CVD in women.  We will discuss the risk factors, pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment and physical therapy management of CVD between genders, particularly highlighting the factors unique to women and the impact of those factors on physical therapy management of women.

Course Learning Objectives:  By the end of this course, participants will be able to independently:

  1. describe the gender differences in clinical manifestation of ischemic heart disease,
  2. explain the pathophysiology of ischemic heart disease in women,
  3. analyze 2 diagnostic tests for cardiovascular diseases in women,
  4. articulate the medical management of 3 cardiovascular diseases in women,
  5. Describe the effects of hormones and hormone therapy on cardiovascular disease.
  6. Define peripartum heart failure and preeclampsia,
  7. explain the relationship between pregnancy complications and heart disease.
  8. Outline the effects of stress, depression and other psychosocial issues on heart disease in women,
  9. analyze the barriers to access and participation of women in outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation programs, and
  10. design a physical therapy treatment plan for a woman with cardiovascular disease

Course Agenda:

  • Gender differences in clinical manifestation and pathophysiology of ischemic heart disease (1.5 hours)
  • Diagnosing cardiovascular disease in women (1 hour)
  • Medical management of cardiovascular disease in women (1.5 hours)
  • Effects of hormones and hormone therapy on cardiovascular disease (0.5 hour)
  • Pregnancy and heart disease (1)
  • Women and outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation (0.5 hour)
  • Physical Therapy recommendations for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases in women (0.5 hour)

Course Faculty: Morgan Johanson, PT, MSPT, CCS