Women wait longer to call an ambulance after a heart attack then men do, and are putting themselves far more at risk as a result.
A new study has also suggested women are not treated as effectively by doctors as men are.
Women have been urged to be more vigilant about chest pains, and the study wants medical staff to be more proactive in their treatment of women suffering heart attacks.
(file picture) Women wait longer than men to raise the alarm when suffering a heart attack
Heart disease and heart attacks are more common in men, leading some doctors to think women rarely suffer them, the research added.
A study conducted in Brittany found that women were twice as likely to die from their heart attack than men. Those who lived stayed in hospital for longer and had more complications.
The findings were presented at the Acute Cardiac Care Congress 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Dr Guillaume Leurent, from the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Rennes, France, said: 'These results suggest that women need to be more vigilant about chest pains and request medical help quickly to reduce ischemic time ([duration the heart muscle is starved of oxygen).
'Women may take longer to call an ambulance when they have chest pains because they don't believe it can be a myocardial infarction (heart attack). Most women believe myocardial infarction is a male problem.
'Many doctors still think myocardial infarction is a male problem. Campaigns are needed to increase awareness in doctors and the public about the problem in women. Doctors need to be more careful in the management of women to further reduce ischemic time.'
The study examined data from 5,000 heart attack patients in Brittany, France and included 1,174 women.
(file picture) The study found women sufferers of heart attacks were older than men, and were more likely to have high blood pressure
Women sufferers were older, with an average age of 69, while men had an average age of 61.
Women were also more likely to have high blood pressure but less likely to be smokers.
Women waited longer between the start of symptoms and calling for help, an average of an hour compared with 44 minutes for men, and also waited longer at hospital between being admitted and having treatment.
Nine per cent of women died in hospital compared with four per cent of men. This remained a significant difference even when the treatment delays were factored in, the researchers said.
Women were more than twice as likely to suffer complications such as abnormal heart rhythm following their heart attack and stayed in hospital for more than a week, while men were discharged on average a day earlier.
The researchers also found that women were less likely than men to receive drugs, such as statins, when leaving hospital to prevent a second heart attack.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2220545/Women-heart-attack-victims-twice-likely-die-men-wait-longer-ambulance.html#ixzz29wZgOkhp
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