A new study has found that women who suffer from symptoms of heart attack are more likely to be dismissed by doctors than men are. Young women who report heart attack symptoms such as indigestion, shortness of breath, palpitations or pain in the jaw, neck or arms are sometimes not diagnosed with heart attack. They are more likely to report these associated symptoms of heart attack than men are. Both men and women report chest pain, pressure, tightness and discomfort as their main heart attack symptoms.
Women are more likely to die in a hospital from heart disease than men are, said the researchers. They are also more likely to perceive their symptoms as stress and anxiety
“Although chest pain was the most common symptom for young women and men, the presentation of chest pain within the context of multiple symptoms may influence the prompt recognition of heart disease for these young patients,” said a researcher.
Women were also more likely to perceive their symptoms as stress or anxiety. The research paper was published in the journal Circulation.
Many women have had their symptoms ignored
A Texas woman, Tara Robinson, suffered three heart attacks in three days at the age of 40. She is now spreading awareness about the symptoms of cardiovascular disease among women in association with the American Heart Association.
Robinson said that in October 2013, she began experiencing extreme fatigue, left arm numbness and neck pain. By Christmas, she called her sister and told her that her left arm, neck and feet were bothering her almost every day.
Her sister wanted her to go to a hospital, but she ignored the advice. At her annual checkup in January, her doctor found that her cholesterol levels and blood pressure were normal, and that her symptoms were related to stress. She kept feeling discomfort until April of 2014, when she woke up at 2 am saying that her symptoms were 10 times worse.