Heart Attacks in Women: More Deadly

Women are less likely to survive a heart attack than men, according to new statistics from the Heart Foundation which show men suffering twice as many heart attacks as women every year, but the same number of each sex do not survive.

Every year, 36,000 men and 19,000 women suffer a heart attack of which 4,700 men and 4,500 women do not survive. The Heart Foundation of Australia says the incongruity is largely due to the lack of awareness that women have and the delay they take in seeking or gaining treatment.

Of the 500 heart attack victims that were surveyed, 40 per cent of women did not report any recognition of chest pain. Women are more likely to present non-chest pain symptoms, which may include one or a combination of; jaw pain, arm pain, and an incredible feeling of being unwell including nausea and a cold, clammy feeling. Many cases saw women mistaking their symptoms for sore muscles, indigestion or the beginning of menopause.

Other frightening results saw only 39 per cent of women sought medical advise, compared to 53 per cent of men. This could be due to the fact that only 20 per cent of women claim to know the a-typical signs of a heart attack. So, here it is ladies - the recognition and reaction of Heart Attack signs and symptoms:

  • A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked. A block artery prevents oxygen rich blood from reaching a section of the heart. If the block artery is not reopened, the part of the heart normally nourished by that atery begins to die. Symptoms of a heart attack, particularly in women include;
  • Sudden and intense pain in area of the upper body (chest, arms, nack and jaw)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweats and/or
  • Nausea and Vomiting

More, often, the symptoms start to worsen over the days and weeks or even months before the heart attack is recognised. Unlike a sudden cardiac arrest, the heart does not stop beating during a heart attack. To found out if you are at risk of a heart attack, visit Australia Wide First Aid's previous blog: Is your Heart at Risk?

If you experience any symptoms of a heart attack, call 000 immediately. Every minute counts.

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