Women Receive Inadequate Heart Attack Care Than Men, Finds Study

According to a new report, more than 800,000 Americans experience a heart attack each year, and amongst them, younger women account for nearly 30 percent.

Women Heart Attack Study

A study conducted by the researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has found that women often receive alarmingly inadequate heart attack care when compared with men.

Researchers wanted to explore the incidents of heart attack among younger adults. And to do so, they examined the medical data of roughly 30,000 younger as well as older people between the ages of 35 and 74 who had a cardiac arrest and were hospitalized between 1995 and 2014. They considered younger adults who were in the age group of 35 and 54.

After in-depth analysis, researchers found that a third of patients hospitalized for a cardiac arrest were young, and surprisingly many of them were women.

The study was published in the Circulation Journal.

From 1995 to 1999, more than 20 percent of patients hospitalized for a heart attack were young women. However, between 2010 and 2014, that number significantly increased to more than 30 percent.

Between 1999 and 2014, the rates for younger men hospitalized for a heart attack increased from 30 to 33 percent.

The researchers have also noted that younger women who had a cardiac arrest were more likely of the same age as that of men along with a history of hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and stroke, which are the potential risk factors of a heart attack.

Melissa Caughey, the co-author of the study, said, “Women now, compared to younger women generations before them, are less healthy. It’s probably reflective of poorer health in general.”

The researchers explained that it was a bit difficult to determine heart attack symptoms in males than in females. Women are more likely to have back pain, shoulder pain or stomachache, while men generally experience chest pain radiating to the left arm or the neck.

In December 2018, a team of scientists from Triemli Hospital in Switzerland found that women often have to wait longer for the treatment of heart attack than men, because their cardiac symptoms are sometimes harder to determine.

However, the researchers of the latest study have said that heart disease is still considered a “man’s disease.” Physicians should explore a variety of treatment options for women with heart ailments.

The authors concluded that more clinical trials should be designed particularly for women to understand the cardiovascular risk profile and to determine treatments in women. They also concluded that guidelines that are focused on preventing heart disease in women should be updated and implemented in clinical practice so physicians can make clinical decisions more appropriately and effectively.