A heart condition is one of the biggest killers in America, for men and women. But a new study has shown that the signs of heart attack vary with gender. Whilst men tend to report the stereotypical chest pain, women rarely do.

The Study

The study, conducted by researchers in Florida, looked at the range of symptoms experienced by men and women when they are having a heart attack in order to help people of both sexes to identify a heart attack if they have one. They set out to look at the prevalence of chest pain with heart attack and whether chest pain can give an indication of whether the patient is likely to die from the heart attack.

The symptoms of a heart attack can vary, from extreme chest pain, to tingling limbs, loss of breath and nausea. The researchers looked at the records of over a million Americans who suffered a heart attack within a set 12 year period (from 1994 – 2006). They noted gender, symptoms and death rates for each record examined.

The Results

30.7% of the women had reported chest pain during their attack, with younger women less likely to experience it than older ones. Perhaps even more surprising is that less than half (just 42%) of the men reported crushing chest pain as a symptom of their heart attack.

These results show that, contrary to popular belief, chest pain is not a key symptom of a heart attack. Most people who have a heart attack don’t experience chest pain at all. Some have no pain whatsoever when they are having a heart attack, in the chest, arm, jaw or neck.

It is important that people are aware that unexplained shortness of breath, nausea or sweating are also key signs of a heart attack and people who are at higher risk (overweight, or aged over 50) should seek medical attention if these symptoms arise.

Angeles Health International has an outstanding cardiology center, where we routinely perform, angiograms, angioplasty, pacemaker surgery and interventional cardiology, to Mexican Nationals and Medical Tourists alike.

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