A new study conducted by University of Michigan researchers says that women are better at coping with heart disease than men. The researchers arrived at this conclusion after tracking 490 heart patients, who were treated at U-M for either a heart attack or severe chest pain.
All these patients had enrolled in the research registry at U-M and provided all the medical data about themselves plus gave the limit that their heart could be stretched in day to day activities. The questionnaire included testing questions like "How severe do you think your heart disease is?" and asked them to rate it as very mild, mild, moderate, severe and very severe. The patients were grouped into two segments like very mild/mild, and moderate/severe/very severe.
Around 42 percent of the women felt that their heart disease was very mild or mild even though physiologically they were worse off than the 40.9 percent of men who also felt the same. These women took more medicines, has serious problems as well as limitations on their daily routine. "It's important to understand women's perceptions, beliefs and attitudes about cardiac disease and its treatment. If women do not perceive their cardiac disease as severe, they may not pursue medical evaluation, treatment or rehabilitation," commented lead researcher Steven Erickson. It was also found that women are more likely to delay seeking treatment for their condition than men. "Although our study cannot prove that women's 'toughness' influences their tendency to seek and accept aggressive care for their heart problems, we hope it prompts further investigation of this question," said co-researcher Kim A. Eagle. The study appears in the latest issue of the American Journal of Medicine.