Why Women Don’t Get the Heart Attack Care They Need

At a heart hospital , providers take different approaches for male and female cardiology patients. This is because women have unique risk factors for cardiovascular disease and they tend to experience heart attacks differently than men. Unfortunately, women are also at a greater risk of dying from a heart attack compared to men, given that women are more likely to delay seeking emergency care. At Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, our cardiology team urges all individuals to call 911 right away for heart attack symptoms.

Misconceptions about Heart Attacks

One reason why women may delay getting emergency care for heart attack symptoms is that it’s commonly assumed that heart attacks primarily affect older men. However, women and men of any age can suffer a heart attack. Heart attacks have been reported in women in their 20s and 30s. A heart attack can occur in a woman who considers herself to be physically fit, which is why it’s important to be aware of other risk factors such as family history and underlying heart conditions. It’s even possible for medications to increase the risk of a heart attack in a younger woman. For example, when you watch this featured video, you’ll hear a physician explain how birth control pills can increase the risk of blood clots, which in turn may cause a heart attack.

Differences in Heart Attack Symptoms

Another possible reason for delays in heart attack care is that women are less likely than men to suffer from chest pain caused by myocardial infarction . Instead, they may experience non-specific symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, cold sweats, and anxiety.

Priorities Other Than Self-Care

It’s not uncommon for women to put others before themselves. Some women hesitate to call 911 because of family or work obligations. They may reason that they’ll feel embarrassed if their symptoms weren’t caused by a heart attack. Emergency care providers encourage women to err on the side of caution, since calling 911 can save their lives.

Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is a leading heart hospital that proudly serves the Las Vegas area. At our heart hospital, patients can benefit from our sophisticated Cardiac Catheterization Labs, Valve Program, Atrial Fibrillation Program, and the area’s first Hybrid OR. For emergency care, please call 911 right away; otherwise, you can request a physician referral by calling our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 233-5300.

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