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Women More Likely To Die From Heart Attack: Uncommon Symptoms And Treatment Delay Likely The Cause
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Women More Likely to Die From Heart Attack: Uncommon Symptoms And Treatment Delay Likely the Cause

Chest pains are a signal of a heart attack, at least that is what we are always told. But, for some women, especially younger women, that is unlikely to be a symptom which leaves many of them not being treated until it is too late. In a research study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, those "hallmark symptoms" of heart attack were found to be less than ideal when assessing women's heart attacks. Waiting for those signals are getting much of the blame for the increased risk of death for young women after their first heart attack.

That study, which looked at information from more than one million different heart attack patients found that women younger than 55 were unlikely to have a "typical" heart attack, meaning they were most likely to delay medical treatment in the first place and then arrive without any of the symptoms that would lead doctors to suspect that that would be the case. Because of their age, doctors usually treat for other conditions before suspecting a heart attack. Usually by the time they are diagnosed it is too late for treatment to be effective.

The records that the researchers investigated were from 1994 to 2006 with patients being treated at more than two thousand hospitals.

Some men also came to the hospital with atypical presentation, according to the study, but the women did so at a much higher rate. Researchers found over thirty percent of the men did not have chest pain when arriving at the emergency room while more than forty percent of the women had the same type of complaint.The study also found that women tended to be at least seven years older than men when they had their first heart attack. Women who were even younger (45 years old or younger) were more likely to arrive at the hospital without any type of chest pains at all. As the women get older, the gap between symptoms and heart attack related death declines, dropping to nearly zero by the time the woman reaches 75.

Of the women who came to the hospital without the typical chest pains, fifteen percent died without ever leaving the hospital vs. only ten percent of the men. Women who fell in the even younger category were even more likely to die, coming in at twenty percent.

The American Heart Association advocates teaching that heart attack symptoms vary from person to person and may never include chest pains. Other common and possible symptoms include: unexplained shortness of breath, pain in the jaw, neck, arms, the back or the stomach and sweating.


Street Talk

Good article and good information

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Very well written and said. Women need to be much more aggressive in understanding that they too are susceptible and need to take those important steps to protect their heart health.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Women's heart disease risk is just as high as a man's but she is more likely to die. Part of the problem is that they also tend to delay treatment especially when they are not dealing with chest pain. An upset stomach wouldn't prompt you to go to the ER, right?

Reply
  about 8 years ago

This is very important information that needs to get out there to women and also to some doctors. Hopefully awareness is increasing.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

I honestly hope so.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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