Gender Gap in Diagnosis and Outcome of Heart Attacks
There's a new and wide-ranging study that raises disturbing doubts about women's health care.
It finds a significant gender gap in the diagnosis and the outcome of heart attacks in younger women.
Dr. Timothy Johnson with more on this important story in Your Health Report.
Data on over one million patients were analyzed for the largest study of its kind ever done.
Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it finds that women under age 45 who have heart attacks: are more likely to have no chest pain and more likely to die in the hospital afterward than males of the same age.
For doctors, it's a surprise and a warning.
Death rates from heart attacks are increasing in 35 to 50 year old women, even as they decline in other groups.
One expert calls it a "double whammy." Not only don't they expect heart attacks in younger women, they're harder to diagnose when they occur.
The study should raise awareness and alarm about women and heart attacks and make doctors more "heart smart" about their female patients.
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