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Differences between women’s and men’s heart attacks

Feb 1, 2016 | Failure to Diagnose

The fact that heart attack symptoms can differ greatly between men and women makes it important for New York physicians to be aware of these differences to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment for patients of either gender. According to a statement by the American Heart Association, the differences between these incidents in men and women are extensive, including risks, complications, treatments, symptom, and outcomes. The AHA acknowledges that there have been dramatic improvements in the last several years, but the outcome for women after suffering a heart attack is much worse than for men.

Statistically, heart disease is responsible for more deaths in women than in men on an annual basis, although the number for women is declining. Misdiagnosis continues to be a serious problem for women because of the unusual manifestations of pain. Whereas men typically feel chest pain, women may experience pain in areas such as their necks, jaws or backs. Additionally, they may deal with weakness and nausea.Depression, diabetes, and high blood pressure all create higher risks for women.

Women tend to delay longer in seeking treatment after a heart attack, which can result in a more serious outcome. Treating physicians are less likely to recommend activities such as cardiac rehabilitation or prescribe statins and other important medications to deal with heart disease. Age and susceptibility to complications are also serious factors that contribute to poor outcomes in women.

Patients who have been harmed because of a doctor misdiagnosis could face major challenges in returning to work or in continuing to manage their own affairs. If a serious medical error has occurred, legal action might be warranted. An attorney can review a patient’s hospital records and obtain the opinions of medical experts in order to determine if malpractice was present in a particular situation.