Risk Factor—Response to Treatment

Women are 12% more likely to die of a major heart attack at a hospital and less likely to survive than a man upon arriving at the hospital. They are more likely to die when leaving a hospital than a man.   Approximately 1% fewer women survive balloon angioplasty compared to men. Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) is twice as dangerous for women. In one study, researchers found that body mass made a difference in survival for women undergoing a CABG; the same body mass for a man didn’t similarly affect male survival. It seems likely that the difference in survival rates is linked to a man’s naturally larger arteries.

Women may not receive cardiac enzyme testing automatically upon entering a hospital with a possible heart attack. However, the cardiac troponins, or TnT levels, are essential for diagnosing heart attack, as I explained in Chapters One and Two. Be sure to insist on these tests especially if you are presenting with indigestion, mild pain between the shoulder blades, fatigue, and/or shortness of breath. There is no time to wait because waiting too long can cause irreparable damage to your heart.

Have you experienced a delay in response to treatment and had a heart attack as a result? Please share your story to help other women become aware.

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