Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Heart attacks in young women -- not all have chest pain

Date:
September 16, 2013
Source:
McGill University Health Centre
Summary:
Chest pain is recognized as a symptom of heart troubles, but one out of five women aged 55 years or less having a heart attack do not experience this symptom. The research findings are the first to describe this phenomenon in young women.

Chest pain is recognized as a symptom of heart troubles, but one out of five women aged 55 years or less having a heart attack do not experience this symptom, according to a study led by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC). The research findings, gathered from partner institutions across Canada including the University of British Columbia (UBC), are the first to describe this phenomenon in young women. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, has implications for emergency room healthcare professionals and for at-risk individuals, as seconds matter when it comes to the accurate diagnosis and treatment of heart attack.

Related Articles


"We need to move away from the image of an older man clutching his chest, when we think about acute coronary syndrome (ACS -- the umbrella term referring to heart attacks and angina), says senior author of the study, Dr. Louise Pilote, director of the Division of General Internal Medicine at the MUHC and McGill University and professor of medicine at McGill University. "The reality is that chest pain, age and gender are no longer the definers of a heart attack. Our study demonstrates that young people and women who come into the emergency without chest pain, but other telltale ACS symptoms such as weakness, shortness of breath and/or rapid heartbeats are in crisis. We need to be able to recognize this and adapt to new standard assessments in previously unrecognized groups such as young women."

"Women less than 55 years old are more likely to have their ACS misdiagnosed in the ER than men, and they have higher risk of death," adds first author Dr. Nadia Khan, associate professor of Medicine, UBC. "The public and physicians need to be aware of this problem."

Pain not an indicator of disease severity

Drs. Pilote, Khan and colleagues evaluated more than 1000 young patients who were hospitalized for ACS. Their findings showed that women were less likely to experience chest pain compared with men and that the absence of this pain did not correlate with less severe heart attacks. Patients without chest pain had fewer symptoms overall but their ACS was not less severe. The diagnosis of ACS therefore depended on detailed cardiological assessments.

"It is important to remember that chest pain is a main indicator of ACS, but not the only one," says Dr. Pilote.

"We need to remind ourselves that even without chest pain, something serious could still be happening," adds Dr. Khan.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McGill University Health Centre. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

McGill University Health Centre. "Heart attacks in young women -- not all have chest pain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916204742.htm>.
McGill University Health Centre. (2013, September 16). Heart attacks in young women -- not all have chest pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916204742.htm
McGill University Health Centre. "Heart attacks in young women -- not all have chest pain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916204742.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins