• Lorna Davis CNM, MS,

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Lorna Davis received her master's degree and nurse-midwifery certification from St. Louis University in 1978. She has been in full scope private practice in Chicago for the past 9 years.

  • Peter Stecy MD

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Peter Stecy is an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois. He is also director of the cardiovascular training program at Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

2600 N. Lake View, #4F Chicago, IL 60614.


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States. Nurse-midwives play a unique role in screening their clients, especially because they will be caring for an increasing number of aging women as the population grows older. Risk assessment, health history, physical examination, and nonpharmacologic management of cardiovascular problems in women are discussed in the March/April 1995 issue of the Journal of Nurse-Midwifery. This article presents an overview of the most common cardiac drugs that nurse-midwives may encounter in treating these women and provides guidelines for referring patients who require medical intervention. Common medications to treat hypertension, coronary artery disease, and hyperlipidemia are detailed; in addition, mechanisms of action, therapeutic indications, dosage, and adverse effects are listed in tables for easy reference.