Counseling You Through Life's Difficult Times

Women’s heart attacks may be different than men’s

Most people who live in Maryland have probably seen a television program or a movie in which a character has a heart attack. These scenes typically involve a person clutching their check suddenly as the pain hits them. Certainly, chest pain may be associated with a heart attack but it is far from the only primary symptom. In fact, for women, it may not even be present at all.

New research has highlighted the unique symptoms that women are more likely to experience when having a heart attack than their male counterparts. This difference has actually led more women to being incorrectly diagosed, leaving them at a serious disadvantage when they do have heart attacks. According to the Office on Women’s Health, part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, heart attacks in women that do not involve the stereotypical pain in the chest are referred to as silent heart attacks.

Silent heart attacks happen more often to women than men. A woman having a silent heart attack may exhibit shortness of breath, fatigue, nauseau, heartburn and indigestion. Pain may be felt in the throat, back, neck or jaw instead of in the chest.

As reported by Healthline, a study showed that for women having heart attacks with at least three non-chest pain symtpoms, doctors failed to connect the experience to the heart in 53 percent of cases. For men, this failure happened in only 36 percent of cases. Women, it seems, may need to advocate more strongly for the health when unexplained symptoms occur.