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Monday, July 18, 2016

This Happens More Often to Men, But It Kills More Women

Many identify heart attacks as gripping pain in the chest area, but the truth is that nearly half of all heart attacks occur without any symptoms. Silent heart attacks can come with no warning signs, such as chest pain, shortness of breath and cold sweats. Although silent heart attacks occur more commonly among men, they are more commonly fatal among women.

The silent heart attack

According to research at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina, 45 percent of all heart attacks now are silent. The study also showed that although there is a greater risk among men, women are more likely to die of a silent heart attack. Why?

The reason could be due to "underuse of guideline-derived medical therapies and lower referral rates to cardiac rehab in women," stated Dr. Laxmi Mehta, director of the women's cardiovascular health program at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

One of the dangers of silent heart attacks is the lack of symptoms; many victims are not even aware they are having, or have had, a silent heart attack. If they do detect something different is going on, like heart burn or indigestion, they often discard it as nothing serious and do not seek medical attention. In addition, silent heart attacks are more difficult to confirm after the fact.

Don't ignore unusual symptoms

The study is one of the few that specifically looked at gender differences in silent heart attacks. Doctors highly recommend getting any out-of-the-ordinary symptoms checked out, just to be sure, rather than taking a chance on having a silent heart attack.

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