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Women and heart attack: Study finds failure to recognize symptoms, failure to treat appropriately
Date:5/6/2008

nd that the symptoms women reported when they first reached the hospital were often different from those the men complained of. While 94 percent of men and 92 percent of women reported they felt chest pain, women patients who didnt cite chest pain were more likely to experience atypical symptoms such as nausea and jaw pain.

Weve made great strides in treating women with heart disease, but these data show theres still much to be done and that we need to find out whether women might have blockages that are invisible on angiograms, says senior author Kim Eagle, M.D., FACC, the Albion Walter Hewlett Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine.

Eagle, a director of the U-M Cardiovascular Center, is co-chair of the publication committee for GRACE, which was launched in 1999 and funded by unrestricted funds from Sanofi-Aventis. The company has no role in the collection, analysis or publication of data from the GRACE registry, which includes patients from hospitals in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Says study co-author Lisa Jackson, M.D., MPH, an assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine at U-M, We have two education challenges ahead, based on these data: educating women that they should seek immediate attention for both the classic heart attack symptoms and atypical sudden symptoms, and educating physicians that non-obstructive coronary artery disease is still disease and needs to be treated seriously.

The findings echo data from earlier studies, which have found differences in the symptoms women experience during a heart attack, and the tests and treatments they receive during or after an attack.

The lack of serious blockages, or obstructions, on the angiograms of many women heart attack patients has led experts to suspect that women may have blockages in smaller blood vessels that cant be seen on conventional angiograms. Or, their blockages may have been fleeting, disappea
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Contact: Kara Gavin
kegavin@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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