Women delay medical help for heart problems

28 October 2014

A new study has highlighted that many women are playing a dangerous game when they have heart problems by waiting a significant period of time before seeking medical attention.

Presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, the research found that women are more likely to delay seeking help when suffering cardiac pain than men, despite both sexes experiencing the same levels of pain.

"The main danger is that when someone comes to the hospital with a more severe or advanced stage of heart disease, there are simply fewer treatment options available," said Dr Catherine Kreatsoulas, lead author of the study and a Fulbright Scholar and Heart and Stroke Foundation Research Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health.

This could have an impact on the surgical options available to a patient and their long-term health.

Dr Kreatsoulas, an epidemiologist, said many people are unsure about when heart symptoms need medical attention. 

The study was conducted in two parts. In the first part, researchers interviewed cardiac patients about their experience of angina and when they sought medical care. For the second stage, another group of patients were enrolled and quantified by gender the reasons why patients sought care.

Posted by Jeanette Royston​

 

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