Shortness of breath
Don’t believe what you may have heard about women not having chest pain when they are having a heart attack:
Dr Beth Abramson, of the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, said that while women may describe their pain differently from men, the most common symptom in women was still chest pain.
She said: “Heart disease is an equal opportunities killer – the differences between women and men are negligible.
“Women do tend to present about seven to 10 years later than men when they are older and sicker.
“The first thing most people feel is a heaviness in the chest and we all need to be aware of that.”
Read the whole article. Women are more likely to report pain along the throat, jaw and neck than men, but this is in addition to the chest pain (although not everybody having a heart attack, whether male or female, has the chest pain – this is another complicating factor). But if you see anyone in pain OR short of breath with nausea and sweating, get them to an ER stat.
Friday I was at Stanford University at the 35th anniversary of the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research. I got to hear Dr. Hannah Valantine discuss “unintended gender bias in medical research, especially as it pertains to cardiovascular research. ”
She pointed out that women who have heart attacks die more than men. Even after the incident has been correctly diagnosed and they are hospitalized. Particularly younger women. She’s trying to find out why.