Just Like Men, Women Need To Check Their Hearts
among women has been growing and a woman's risk of developing heart
disease or having a heart attack is now equal to that of a man. "The
problem has been growing for years," said cardiologist Dr. Erica Jones.
have been slow to respond and get the preventative screenings and
immediate medical help that can save their life. They need to," Dr.
Part of the
problem, according to Dr. Jones, is that heart disease usually
manifests itself a decade later in women – at 60 instead of 50
– when women's bodies are weaker and less able to fend off
disease. Estrogen helps protect a women's heart, but after menopause
things are different.
also problematic. While a man having a heart attack or heart problem
may vomit, sweat profusely, or experience pressure like chest pain,
women are more likely to feel subtle symptoms such as vague discomfort,
fatigue, or nausea and attribute it to another cause.
percent of women ignore symptoms or don't report it to a physician, and
those who go to an emergency room can wait longer for treatment as
physicians rule out other causes.
muscle," said Dr. Jones in an issue of Science Briefs from Weill
Cornell Medical College. "Get regular preventative screenings, and if
even mild symptoms of a heart attack occur, seek medical attention
immediately and make sure the physician considers it may be a heart
attack. Waiting and seeing can be disastrous."
Dr. Jones is
an associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical
College and an associate attending physician at the Iris Cantor Women's
Health Center of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical
For more information visit http://www.med.cornell.edu/science/