Women suffer more than men post heart attack, study finds

25 October 2011

Healthcare research has shown that women often fare worse than men after suffering a heart attack.

According to a recent study by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, women under 55 years old face a higher risk of general health decline post cardiac arrest when compared to men of the same age.

Researchers found that women aged between 20 and 55 can experience higher levels of effects such as severe chest pain and a worse quality of life one month after the attack.

Dr Karin Humphries, Heart and Stroke Foundation professor in Women's Cardiovascular Health at UBC, said: "Women are less likely to attend cardiac rehabilitation than their male counterparts even when they are referred. We need to help women overcome their barriers to this essential part of their recovery."

She suggested that women may recover more slowly due to traditional social and cultural standards, such as the fact women are often seen as the primary caregivers.

The study comprised 286 patients whose baseline recovery rates were analysed with any worsening effects within one month.

A separate study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggested that people who have human papillomavirus are more than twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

Fujise, Ken, et al.,"Human Papillomavirus and Cardiovascular Disease Among U.S. Women in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey", Journal of the American College of Cardiology, November 1st 2011.

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