Until recently, our understanding of heart attacks has been primarily based on men. As a result, it’s not uncommon for women to be sent home from a hospital despite experiencing this heart condition. Some women don’t even seek medical help until it’s too late. Let’s discuss why women’s heart attacks often go unnoticed.
Women Tend to Ignore Heart Attack Symptoms
In general, heart attack symptoms in women can be more subtle than those typically associated with this heart condition. So, many women dismiss their symptoms and go about their daily lives. Women typically seek medical help only after the symptoms worsen, or their friends and family urge them to go to the emergency room.
Heart Attack Symptoms Differ in Men and Women
Although chest pain remains the most common heart attack symptom in men and women, it doesn’t always manifest in the same manner for both sexes. For example, women might experience chest tightness or a dull ache rather than intense pain. In addition, several other symptoms dilute chest pain, leading the patient and their doctor not to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack.
Women’s Heart Attacks Test Differently Than Men’s
Most heart attack tests are designed to look for a blockage in one of the three main arteries supplying blood to the heart. However, women don’t necessarily present these classic pathological mechanisms, so their test findings don’t follow the typical pattern. Consequently, some doctors might dismiss their issue as not cardiovascular.
Seek Medical Help
Early action is critical for preserving your heart’s health when dealing with heart attacks. If you experience any uncommon symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. If you don’t get a clear diagnosis, don’t hesitate to ask for a second opinion or go for a second line of testing.