CARDIOLOGIST DR. PETER REYES OF MERCY MEDICAL CENTER IN BALTIMORE, MD DISCUSSES WOMEN, MORTALITY AND HEART ATTACK
Women ages 50 or younger who suffer a heart attack are more likely than men to die over the following 11 years, according to a new study published in the European Heart Journal.
The study found, compared to men, women were less likely to undergo therapeutic invasive procedures after admission to a hospital with a heart attack or be treated with certain medical therapies upon discharge, such as aspirin, beta-blockers, ace inhibitors and statins.
According to Peter A. Reyes, M.D., a cardiologist with The Heart Center at Mercy, it may be that it's hard to diagnose women at first because they are more likely to present with jaw pain, nausea or heart racing. He said maybe doctors don't treat them as aggressively as they do men.
“Take any chest pain seriously and limit risk factors: high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, increased weight. And exercise itself, especially in women, can decrease your risk of having a cardiac event up to 50%,” Dr. Reyes said.
Dr. Reyes notes that it doesn’t have to be vigorous exercise. It can be just a gentle walk for 20 or 30 minutes a day. He also says women suffer more with stress, which also contributes to morbidity and damage to the heart.