A new Swiss study finds chest pain characteristics that are specific to women are not a powerful enough tool to diagnose a heart attack.
Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the United States and 90-percent of people experiencing a heart attack have chest pain, but many women may be misdiagnosed because they ignore or fail to recognize other symptoms.
"Women are suffering from and dying from heart attacks more than any other disease process, than any other form of cancer, all forms of cancer combined." Said Jessica Barare, DO, of Cardiovascular Solutions Institute in Bradenton, FL.
Although Women like men are most likely to have pain with their heart attack, its not always the case, she said. "Heart attacks in women can occur with very few symptoms, and very mild symptoms, including nausea, dizziness, severe fatigue and other non specific things, " Recognizing these symptoms is important, and there are other red flags, "Almost passing out, or strange and cold sweats and feelings of just unease."
If you have mild symptoms start with a primary care physician said Gino Sedillo, M.D., FACC. "if the symptoms are severe or incapacitating, I would recommend going directly to the emergency room." If you think you are having a heart attack, be proactive. He said. "Stop doing what you're doing rest, get an aspirin immediately, If a patient already as a history or coronary disease and has nitro glycerin, they can go ahead and put one under their tongue."
Dr. Sedillo added that you should listen to your body. "If you have those symptoms of fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, especially in association with the risk factor, definitely go and seek medical attention."
Although women are more likely to ignore symptoms, you can weigh your risk. If you have a family history of heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol diabetes and smoke then you are in a higher risk catagory.