The symptoms of a heart attack can be very different for women than for men but your doctor’s gender can also play a role in the survival rate of females having a heart attack. A recent study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that women are more likely to survive a heart attack if they are treated in the emergency room by a female doctor.
According to a recent Huffington Post Wellness report, researchers found that women who are admitted to hospital for a heart attack are less likely to survive than men, especially if they are treated by male physicians. The study used a census of 582,000 heart attack patients admitted to Florida hospitals between 1991 and 2010.
The research findings draws attention to the need for better communication between doctors and patients and more public education about the heart attack symptoms women may have that are different than a man’s symptoms. Advocating for yourself clearly with any doctor will help ensure speedy and correct treatment for heart attack, even when the signs may be less obvious than in a male having heart problems. If you think you are having a heart attack, seek medical attention quickly (but don’t drive yourself unless absolutely necessary) and clearly state you think you are having a heart problem.
Heart Attack Symptoms for Women
The most common heart attack symptom in women is pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest. But it is not always severe or most prominent symptom, especially in women. Other, sometimes more subtle symptoms for women may include:
- Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in one or both arms
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Unusual fatigue
Source: Mayo Clinic
Stress can also be a trigger for a heart attack among women. It’s important not to downplay symptoms and to get emergency help immediately to prevent heart damage. Diabetes, depression, smoking, inactivity and menopause can also contribute to an increased risk for heart disease for women. Learn more about heart attack symptoms in women by following this link to the American Heart Association website.