Study suggests both men and women experience similar heart attack symptoms says the NY Times
Many women believe that symptoms of a heart attack for them is somewhat different than men. A new study suggests both men and women experience the same type of symptoms when a heart attack occurs. This has been though to have been the case because statistically, women are more likely to die from the heart attack than their male counterparts.
The NY Times explains
Heart Attack Pain Similar for Men and WomenBy RONI CARYN RABIN Women are more likely than men to die after a heart attack, and some researchers have suggested a reason: Doctors may be misdiagnosing women more often because their symptoms differ from those experienced by men.
But a study published Monday indicates that too much has been made of gender differences in chest pain, the hallmark symptom of heart disease. Although the researchers found some distinctions, no pattern was clearly more characteristic of women or could be used to improve heart attack diagnosis in women, the authors concluded.
“We should stop treating women differently at the emergency room when they present with chest pain and discomfort,” said Dr. Maria Rubini Gimenez, a cardiologist at University Hospital Basel and lead author of the new study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Instead, she said, all patients with acute chest pain must be evaluated for heart attack with appropriate diagnostics, including an electrocardiogram and blood tests.
Roughly 80 percent of people who have chest pain and discomfort are suffering from indigestion, acid reflux or another relatively benign condition, said Dr. John G. Canto, director of the chest pain center at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in Lakeland, Fla., who has researched heart attack diagnosis.
“The trick is, how do you figure out the 15 to 20 percent actually having a heart attack?” he said. The new research confirms “that there is a lot of overlap in symptoms between patients who are having a heart attack and those who aren’t, and there is a lot of overlap in symptoms between men and women.”