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Reasons for misdiagnosis of heart ailments in women

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2022 | Firm News

What is so difficult to understand about the diseases and ailments of the female heart? Well, the answer is plenty because scientists and medical professionals are playing catch-up due to decades of neglecting to research the intricacies of the female heart.

This reason is why misdiagnosis related to women’s heart health has not been uncommon. In the past, some doctors have informed women who suffer from severe heart ailments that they may have acid reflux, a stomach ailment, asthma or gallstone and panic attacks. Some women even claimed medical professionals expressed doubt when they shared their symptoms.

Heart studies excluded women

For decades, scientific studies of the human heart focused exclusively on men. Without knowledge of women’s hearts, it is understandable that misdiagnosis was not uncommon.

For example, in the 1960s and 1970s, the main subjects of heart disease research were middle-aged men. This set a precedent in the scientific community and continued for more than a decade.

A 1982 research trial proved the link between cholesterol and heart disease, however, the close to 13,000 study participants were men. Then in 1995, a research study disclosed that taking a daily aspirin reduces the risk of a heart attack. Predictably, the more than 22,000 study participants were all men.

Medical education also lacked research on women and heart disease, as physicians and medical students found little information in research papers and textbooks. How could they treat and recognize heart ailments in women without having this crucial information?

Female heart attack symptoms

Heart attack symptoms also differ between the genders. Men often experience severe chest pain, while women may experience:

  • Jaw pain
  • Back pain
  • Severe indigestion
  • Flu-like symptoms

There are differences. It is about time the medical world understood this with women’s heart health.

There are differences

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women. The medical world understands this, but it has been slow to catch on about differences between men and women when it comes to heart health. As a patient, be your best advocate when discussing heart issues with your doctor.