Young Women And Heart Attacks

February 21, 2012 Updated Feb 21, 2012 at 8:58 PM EDT

By WKBW News

February 21, 2012 Updated Feb 21, 2012 at 8:58 PM EDT

(WKBW/Cleveland Clinic) A new study raises awareness and alarm about young women and heart attacks.

One expert calls it a "double whammy": not only don't they expect heart
attacks in younger women, they're harder to diagnose when they happen.

Florida researchers sat women are more than likely than men to show up to a hospital without chest pain, but still be in the middle of a heart attack.

They also found women have a higher rate of in-hospital death following a heart attack than men.

According to Dr. Nancy Albert from the Cleveland Clinic, when it comes to having a heart attack, sometimes women have different
symptoms than men.

She says some women do have that crushing chest pain
just like a man, but sometimes women have more nausea, vomiting and may have flu-like symptoms.

Researchers say the absence of chest pain or discomfort is what leads to an initial treatment plan that is less aggressive.

They also say it's part of the reason why these women have a higher rate of in-hospital death compared with those who show more typical heart attack symptoms.

Researchers say the differences do decrease with increasing age, but that women need to pay attention to the most subtle signs
of sickness.

Dr. Albert says, " For women, I think we need to be careful. Especially if we're having things like jaw pain, or throat pain, or left arm pain. We may have a little tingling or a slight pain in our chest, and we may blow it off. We may also have what we think is gastric indigestion and not assume it's chest pain, so if we have a constellation of symptoms that are different and unusual, we absolutely should go have it checked out."

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