Women that have heart attacks feel the same key signs or symptoms as men, quashing among the reasons given for females receiving unequal care. The British Center Foundation-funded analysis puts into issue a long-held clinical myth that women have a tendency to suffer uncommon or ‘atypical’ coronary arrest signs and symptoms, and emphasises the requirement for both sexes to determine and work on the indicators.
Incorrectly let’s assume that women having a coronary attack suffer different symptoms to men can lead to misdiagnosis, delayed treatment and significantly less intensive medical interventions to be had. Previous BHF-funded research indicates the resulting distinctions in care for girls were estimated to own contributed to at the least 8,200 avoidable deaths in England and Wales within the last decade.
In this latest study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers at the University of Edinburgh recorded the observable symptoms of men and women attending the Emergency Department (ED) at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary who had a blood test called a troponin test. This test can be used when doctors suspect a heart has been had by way of a person attack, and measures a protein released by damaged heart cells within a heart attack.
Between 1st, doctors in the ED ordered the troponin test for 1,941 people. Of these social people, 274 were diagnosed as having a form of heart attack named an NSTEMI (90 women and 184 men). Here is the most common form of heart attack, and occurs if the coronary artery is blocked partially.
Chest pain was the most typical symptom for men and women, with 93 % of both sexes reporting this symptom. The same percentage of gents and ladies reported pain that radiated with their left arm (48 percent of men and 49 percent of women).
More women had pain that radiated for their jaw or back and women were also prone to experience nausea as well as chest pain (33 % vs 19 percent).
Less typical symptoms, such as for instance epigastric pain (heartburn), pain back, or pain which was burning, similar or stabbing compared to that of indigestion, were more widespread in men than women (41 % in men vs 23 percent in women).
Previous research has suggested that people report different coronary arrest symptoms. However, the outward symptoms were recorded following a coronary attack diagnosis was confirmed often, that might introduce bias. This study aimed in order to avoid this by asking a completely independent research nurse to interview and record the observable symptoms of patients coming to the ED with a possible coronary arrest before these were given an analysis.
The authors now say that further research is required in more and larger diverse populations to ensure their findings.
Early diagnosis of a coronary attack is important for survival and treatment. BHF-funded research has previously shown that women having a coronary arrest are as much as 50 per cent much more likely than men for the incorrect initial diagnosis and therefore are less likely to obtain a pre-hospital ECG.
Amy Ferry, cardiology research nurse at the University of Edinburgh and first author, said:
“Our concern is that by incorrectly labelling women as having atypical symptoms, we possibly may be encouraging nurses and doctors to not investigate or start treatment for cardiovascular disease in women.
“Men and women present with an variety of symptoms, but our study implies that so-called typical symptoms in women must always be viewed as a red flag for a potential coronary attack.”
Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said:
“Heart attacks in many cases are viewed as a male ailment, but more women die from cardiovascular system disease than breast cancer in britain. We must change this harmful misconception as it is ultimately causing avoidable loss and suffering of life.
“In britain, three women die of cardiovascular disease every full hour, many of them as a result of heart attack. We all know that women often wait before calling 999 after first experiencing coronary arrest symptoms longer. But that delay can lower your potential for survival dramatically.”
The BHF is calling for all to be more conscious of the most common apparent symptoms of a coronary attack:
- pain or discomfort in your chest occurring suddenly and doesn’t go away
- pain which could spread to your left or right arm, or even to your neck, jaw, or stomach back.
- For a few social people the pain or tightness is severe, whilst others feel uncomfortable feeling sick, sweaty, short or light-headed of breath.
A heart attack is just a medical emergency and will be life threatening. People experiencing some of these symptoms should phone 999 for an ambulance immediately, of their sex regardless.