Sunday, June 20, 2010

Heart Attacks in Women

This is a cut and paste from this post, it's very informative, and might just save your life. The entire site is worth reading.

An asssortment of gender differences if you find yourself having a heart attack:
  1. For women under the age of 50, heart attacks are twice as likely to be fatal as men’s.
  2. Women are twice as likely as men to die within the first few weeks after suffering a heart attack, and 42% of women die within the first year following a heart attack compared to 24% of men.
  3. Marital stress worsens the prognosis in women with heart disease – but not in men.
  4. Men’s coronary artery plaque tends to distribute in clumps whereas women’s tends to distribute more evenly throughout artery walls. This results in women’s diagnostic tests frequently being misinterpreted as “normal”.
  5. Women wait longer than men to go to a hospital Emergency Department when having a heart attack, and physicians are slower to recognize the presence of heart attacks in women because ”typical” patterns of chest pain and EKG changes are less frequently present.
  6. Average risk of being misdiagnosed in mid-heart attack for both men and women is about one in 50 – unless you’re a women under 60, in which case you are seven times more likely to be misdiagnosed compared to men.
  7. After a heart attack, women are less likely than men to receive standard treaments like beta blockers, ACE inhibitors and even aspirin – therapies known to improve survival. This contributes to a higher rate of complication after heart attacks in women, even after adjusting for age.
  8. Over 46% of women but only 22% of men heart attack survivors will be disabled with heart failure within six years.
  9. Women are 2-3 times more likely to die following open heart bypass surgery. But younger women between the ages of 40-59 are four times more likely to die from bypass surgery than men of exactly the same age.
  10. Women with diabetes have more than double the risk of heart attack than non- diabetic women. Diabetes doubles the risk of a second heart attack in women but not in men. Diabetes affects many more women than men after the age of 45.
  11. Women who are eligible candidates to receive life-saving clot-busting drugs in hospital are far less likely than men to receive them.
  12. The best course of treatment for a woman with heart disease has yet to be established, but women currently receive fewer cardiac procedures than men.
  13. Women comprise less than 24% of participants in all heart-related research studies.
  14. More women than men in North America have died from heart disease every year since 1984.

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