Heart Attack Symptoms are more likely in Women than Men
Women are more likely to get heart attack symptoms other than chest pains compared to men according to a study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Akinso: Women are more likely to get heart attack symptoms other than chest pains compared to men according to a study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Researchers examined 35 years of research that yield 69 studies and found that between 30 and 37 percent of women did not have chest discomfort during a heart attack. In contrast, 17 to 27 percent of men did not experience chest discomfort. Dr. George Sopko co-author of the study, said women and their physicians need to pay attention to other symptoms rather than just chest pains.
Sopko: There are some other presentation which patient physician need to pay attention to and those include a discomfort somewhere other than chest, it could be in a back, could be in a neck, could be in a jaw, shortness of breath, fatigue, or weakness, dizziness, and palpitations.
Akinso: Dr. Sopko discusses the importance of awareness.
Sopko: Well the take home message is we would like to increase awareness that women are not immune to heart disease. That heart disease is number one killer and starts at the age of 45 plus. Number two is that there are a variety of symptoms which can reflect the heart attack. As I said the bottom is earlier recognition hopefully translates to early treatment. Early treatment many times translates to minimal or no damage.
Akinso: Researchers also found that older people are more likely to have heart attack without chest discomfort. However, because women are on average nearly a decade older than men at the time of their initial attack, the researchers call for more studies to determine the degree to which gender alone influences heart attack symptoms. Dr. Sopko said the NHLBI has come up with various programs and initiatives to increase the awareness of a heart attack. If you would like to check out some of these initiatives or programs visit www.nhlbi.nih.gov. This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health Bethesda Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Wally Akinso
Sound Bite: Dr. George Sopko
Topic: Heart Attack Symptoms