Women’s heart attack symptoms are different, and clinical care must catch up

(Glen Pyle/ The Conversation) — One evening, you tune in to your favourite medical drama. As the scene opens, the calm of the hospital is shattered when a patient grabs their chest and collapses to the floor. The impossibly good-looking medical team rush in and work feverishly to save the heart attack victim.

In your mind did you picture a man or a woman having the heart attack?

Most people associate heart attacks with men. But cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally for both sexes, and women are more likely than men to die of a heart attack.

During a heart attack, women are more likely to present without pain, or with uncharacteristic symptoms. Treatment guidelines, however, are based on data collected primarily from men. (…)

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