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Female heart attack patients are often misdiagnosed

Women in Oregon and around the country may be more at risk for heart disease than men. Every year, more women in the United States die from heart disease than men, and heart disease is the leading cause of death for American women. Now, researchers are looking into gender differences in patients who have experienced heart attacks in order to identify the reasons women have poorer outcomes.

A statement about heart attack gender differences was issued by the American Heart Association and published in the AHA's journal Circulation. Researchers from the Women's Cardiovascular Health Program at The Ohio State University said that the signs and symptoms of heart attack are different in women, and those factors could lead to misdiagnosis and delayed treatment of women. Women, especially those that are black and Hispanic, tend to have longer hospital stays and poorer outcomes after suffering from a heart attack than men.

The causes of heart attack can be different in women, and the symptoms that are experienced by women during a heart attack can also be different. While both men and women can have heart attacks from blocked arteries, the blockage causes more damage in women's arteries than in men's arteries. Both men and women experience chest pain during a heart attack, but women also experience pain in other parts of their body as well as weakness, vomiting and nausea.

According to researchers, women usually seek treatment for a heart attack in about 54 hours while men are far more prone to seek treatment earlier. A woman who has been harmed by a delayed diagnosis of a heart condition may have a worse outcome than someone who is diagnosed right away. An attorney representing a patient whose condition has worsened as a result may suggest the filing of a medical malpractice claim against the at-fault practitioner.

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