Heart Sisters

Our Mission

HEART SISTERS is a website all about women and heart disease – our #1 killer –  written from the unique perspective of Carolyn Thomas, a Mayo Clinic-trained heart attack survivor and women’s health advocate.  “Best heart blog on the web!” says Dr. Stephen Parker.  www.myheartsisters.org


  • Carolyn  Thomas - Victoria,  - Healthcare

    How do I start exercising after a heart health crisis?

    One week after my own heart attack, I remember a stupefyingly slow one-block walk to the corner, leaning on the arm of my son, Ben, and feeling distressingly frail and weak. My hospital discharge instructions from the Coronary Care Unit had been to try walking one block a day for the first week,...Read More
  • Carolyn  Thomas - Victoria,  - Healthcare

    If I was active when I was young, does that help my heart now?

    While we can't stockpile early physical fitness to help ward off heart disease in later years, our attitudes towards a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity do form in childhood.
    According to pediatric cardiologist Dr. Ronald Kanter at Duke University, "The seeds of heart problems are sown in childhood...Read More
  • Carolyn  Thomas - Victoria,  - Healthcare

    What is holiday heart?

    Some people are apparently so extremely sensitive to alcohol that even moderate amounts – sometimes just a single drink – can trigger episodes of the heart arrhythmia known as paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. This unusual syndrome is what doctors often call “Holiday Heart“.
    This can occur in people...Read More
  • Carolyn  Thomas - Victoria,  - Healthcare

    Who treats heart disease?

    I'd like to think that this is a trick question. The correct answer, I believe, should be YOU!  According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, up to 80% of heart disease is entirely preventable. This means that YOU are in charge, through aggressive lifestyle improvements that YOU implement each day....Read More
  • Carolyn  Thomas - Victoria,  - Healthcare

    What are the health benefits of resveratrol for women?

    Resveratrol has been positioned by some as the darling of all nutritional supplements for heart health - based on the hope that resveratrol or a compound based on it could mimic the effects of a severely restricted diet (which has been shown to extend the life of mice). But recent charges of widespread...Read More
  • Carolyn  Thomas - Victoria,  - Healthcare

    What should I know if I have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator?

    If you have a Riata ICD implanted, you should be aware of an urgent recall of  potentially defective electrical lead wire in these devices.
    In December 2011, following reports of premature erosion of the insulation around the electrical conductor lead wires in these Riata devices, the FDA ordered...Read More
  • Carolyn  Thomas - Victoria,  - Healthcare

    How can I find heart-healthy recipes?

    Any cookbooks by Canadian authors Bonnie Sterns or Anne Lindsay are an absolute must in the kitchen of those living with heart disease. My own copy of Bonnie's classic book "Heart Smart Cooking" is well-worn and food-splattered - especially her fabulous appy recipe called Sushi Pizza. Anne's Lighthearted...Read More
  • Carolyn  Thomas - Victoria,  - Healthcare

    What is the risk of heart attack in women who smoke?

    One of the most frightening scenarios that increase one's risk of heart attack is the combo of cigarettes plus birth control pills, particularly for women over age 35 who smoke more than 15 cigarettes a day. According to Mayo Clinic experts, birth control pills are NOT recommended for women over age...Read More
  • Carolyn  Thomas - Victoria,  - Healthcare

    Is optimism good for my heart?

    Some research suggests that optimism is particularly important for women's heart health. And optimism’s negative sibling – pessimism – may lower our resistance to illness, increase our chances of heart disease and even shorten life. As Dr. Martin Seligman writes in his highly-recommended book, Learned...Read More
  • Carolyn  Thomas - Victoria,  - Healthcare

    How does preeclampsia affect women during pregnancy?

    Preeclampsia may not only be a serious concern during pregnancy itself. Women diagnosed with preeclampsia also have a two to three-fold increased risk of developing heart disease down the road. In fact, the American Heart Association added preeclampsia and other pregnancy complications like gestational...Read More
  • Carolyn  Thomas - Victoria,  - Healthcare

    Is heart disease genetic?

    It's important to remember that a family history of heart disease is just one of many cardiac risk factors. Recently, a woman in one of my heart health presentation audiences told the group that she "felt like a ticking time bomb" because of her "high risk" for having a heart attack one day. She...Read More
  • Carolyn  Thomas - Victoria,  - Healthcare

    How common is heart disease?

    Cardiovascular disease is our #1 killer. This is frightening because, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, about 80% of heart disease is preventable through basic lifestyle improvements like daily physical exercise, a heart-smart diet, managing chronic stress and maintaining a healthy weight....Read More
  • Carolyn  Thomas - Victoria,  - Healthcare

    How does depression affect my heart?

    Not only is depression linked to heart disease, but many people diagnosed with heart disease are subsequently at risk for depression -- especially female patients. As cardiologist Dr. Nieca Goldberg says, women under age 60 are particularly susceptible to depression because a heart attack is such...Read More
  • Carolyn  Thomas - Victoria,  - Healthcare

    What are the symptoms of a heart attack in women?

    Both men and women experience what are called "atypical" heart attack symptoms, but women may experience symptoms that are more vague than the textbook "Hollywood Heart Attack" we imagine when we think about cardiac events. It's important to remember that about 40% of us experience NO chest symptoms at all even in mid-heart...Read More
  • Carolyn  Thomas - Victoria,  - Healthcare

    What are healthy options for margarine, oil, and salad dressing?

    Margarine has been around for more than 100 years. It came into widespread use following the Second World War -- largely because of its cheap price. But margarine's heart-healthy claims may not be as well-founded as their manufacturers would like us to believe.

    For example, most of the omega-3...Read More