Women have one more reason to be mindful of their hearts: according to new research, most women who are hospitalized for heart attack don't experience chest pains. The report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, also states the majority of these patients tend to young at the time of hospitalization.
Dr. John Canto from the Watson Clinic and Lakeland Regional Medical Center in Florida and colleagues including researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and other institutions made the discovery during a study that examined the relationship between gender and heart attacks.
They analyzed data from the National Registry of Myocardial Infarction obtaining information on 1,143,513 heart attack patients (481,581 women and 661,932 men) between 1994 - 2006. Using this data, Canto and his colleagues looked for heart attack predictors without chest pain and relationships between age, gender and hospital deaths.
The results of the study are quite alarming. Women comprised a significant proportion of heart attack patients who did not experience chest pain (42% women v 30.7% men). Moreover, younger women who didn't experience chest pain were more likely to die in the hospital due to a heart attack than young men who didn't have chest pain (14.6% vs. 10.3% respectively).
These gender differences became less significant or even flipped as men and women aged.
Despite the fact that most people associate chest pain with heart attacks, there are other heart attack symptoms to pay attention to including:
- shortness of breath
- sharp upper body pain in the neck, jaw and back
- cold sweats
- unusual tiredness
- sudden dizziness
Regardless of gender or age, you have a responsibility to take care of your health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has implemented the Million Hearts initiative to reduce the number of American heart attacks and strokes by one million over the next five years. You can help out by making a pledge to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Just click on Million Hearts banner located in our sidebar. The CDC asked Living Fit, Healthy and Happy to spread the word about their effort to improve the health and wellbeing of the people in our country. It's a good cause, so please get involved.
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Canto, J., Rogers, W., Goldberg, R., Peterson, E., Wenger, N., Vaccarino, V., Kiefe, C., Frederick, P., Sopko, G., Zheng, Z., & , . (2012). Association of Age and Sex With Myocardial Infarction Symptom Presentation and In-Hospital Mortality JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 307 (8), 813-822 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.199
Heart Attack Information for Women - womenshealth.gov
"Most Women Who Suffer Heart Attacks Don't Feel Chest Pains" copyright © 2012 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.