According to a new study, women presenting in emergency rooms with heart attack symptoms are seen slower than men presenting with the same symptoms. The key difference appear to be anxiety – women appear more anxious than men, and critical symptoms are overlooked. “Patients with anxiety who present to the emergency department with noncardiac chest pain tend to be women, and the prevalence of [heart attack or chest pains] is lower among young women than among young men,” the Canadian researchers said. “These findings suggest that [emergency-room staff] might initially dismiss a cardiac event among young women with anxiety.”
After arriving at the hospital, men underwent electrocardiograms (ECGs) within 15 minutes and clot-dissolving therapy within 21 minutes, compared with 28 minutes and 36 minutes, respectively, for women, the researchers said in the March 17 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal. In addition, women more frequently present with less common heart attack symptoms than men, making ER staff slower to diagnose and treat for heart attack.
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