Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Fannie E. Rippel Foundation-Funded Study Shows Younger Women Delay Seeking Help for Heart Attacks
Younger women may ignore or dismiss the earliest symptoms of an impending heart attack, such as pain and dizziness, and delay seeking emergency medical care. Such factors potentially contribute to disproportionally high death rates of young women as compared to similarly aged men.
New research led by the Yale School of Public Health, and published Feb. 24 in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, examined the experiences of women ranging in age from 30 to 55 years old who were hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Through in-depth interviews with the young women, the nine-member research team explored how the women responded during the crucial period when their first symptoms manifested and they decided to seek medical care.
The researchers’ findings included the following: The women’s initial symptoms varied widely in both nature and duration; patients inaccurately assessed their personal risk of heart disease; external factors (such as work and family) sometimes influenced the decision to seek emergency medical help; not all patients received a prompt or complete workup for their AMI symptoms or a formal diagnosis; and they did not routinely access primary care, including preventive care for heart disease....