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Women don’t suffer ‘classic’ heart attack symptoms

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Severe chest pains is seen as one of the classic signs of a heart attack – but not if you’re a woman. Doctors have finally realised that heart attack symptoms are different between the sexes, and only half of women will suffer any pains or discomfort.
As a result, women may not be rushing to the hospital when they are having a heart attack, which would explain why more women than men die from the attack when they do get to the hospital.
The differences in symptoms and mortality are more noticeable in younger women; 42 per cent of women didn’t suffer any chest pain during an attack compared to 30 per cent of men, and 15 per cent of women and 10 per cent of men died in hospital from the attack.
However, the differences flatten out as men and women age, say researchers from the Watson Clinic and Lakeland Regional Medical Centre in Florida, who reviewed the case histories of 1.14 million people who had suffered a heart attack.
(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2012; 307: 813-22).

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