Heart Health

07 November 2012

Women often misinterpret chest pain

Women with chest pain are more likely than men to wait more than a day to seek care, a new study finds.

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Women with chest pain are more likely than men to wait more than a day to seek care, a new study finds.

And, not surprisingly, young adults are less likely than older adults to think that their chest pain may be related to heart problems, the researchers said.

Both women and men sought care because their symptoms persisted, but women were less likely than men to seek care because they suspected heart disease, study author Judith Lichtman of the Yale University School of Public Health and colleagues pointed out.

How the study was done

For the study, the researchers interviewed nearly 3 000 people, aged 18 to 55, who were hospitalised for heart attack in 104 US hospitals between 2008 and 2012. Ninety percent of the men and 87% of the women had experienced chest pain, pressure, tightness or discomfort with their heart attack.

The investigators also found that:

  • Symptoms led nearly one-third of women and 20% of men to visit their doctor before their heart attack.
  • Women were less likely to recall discussing heart disease with their doctors, or to be told by health-care providers that their symptoms might be related to their heart.
  • Nearly 60% of the men and women did not think their symptoms were heart-related. Many women said they believed indigestion, stress or anxiety was the cause, while men cited indigestion or muscle pain.

The data and conclusions of research presented at meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Read more:
Women and heart disease

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about heart attack.


(Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.)

 

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