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Women Wake up Late to Heart Attack Symptoms

by Medindia Content Team on February 11, 2006 at 12:49 PM
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Women Wake up Late to Heart Attack Symptoms

According to a latest study conducted in Dublin Hospitals, women appear to take five times longer than men to avail emergency medical assistance, following a heart attack.

Researchers from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Trinity College Dublin studied the data from 890 patients who were admitted to six Dublin teaching hospitals, following a heart attack. It was found that subsequent to initial symptoms, the women took an average of 14 hours to actually approach a hospital while men took just 2.8 hours to seek help.

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The reasons for a slow reaction could be that women do not forsee a heart attack with the difference in symptoms between men and women, perhaps confusing. While men complain of a sudden chest pain spreading down the left arm, women are overcome by symptoms such as fatigue, nausea and shortness of breath.

When medical attention is delayed, it means women are prone to suffer complications and this explains why half of all people who get a heart attack die before they reach hospital. Dr Sharon O'Donnell, author of this research has summed up saying 'no matter what your gender, if you suspect you are having a heart attack, take an aspirin and an ambulance'.

Journal of Advanced Nursing, has published the research.

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