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Men and women's same three heart symptoms

Tuesday May 5th, 2020

The top three acute coronary symptoms are the same in both women and men, according to a new Dutch study published last night.

Although previous studies have shown that some symptoms are more common in men than in women, chest pain, sweating and shortness of breath are the most common in both sexes, researchers found.

Writing in the Journal of the American Heart Association and on EAPC Essentials 4 You, a scientific platform of the European Society of Cardiology, study author Dr Annemarijn de Boer of the University Medical Centre Utrecht, said while symptoms can differ between the sexes, there are also many similarities.

This study compiled 27 of the highest quality studies from the past two decades, which detailed symptoms in patients with confirmed acute coronary syndrome.

They also found differences in symptom presentation between women and men: women were twice as likely to have pain between the shoulder blades, 64% more likely to have nausea or vomiting, and 34% more likely to experience shortness of breath.

Although chest pain and sweating were the most frequent symptoms in both women and men, they occurred less often in women, who had a 30% less chance of chest pain and 26% less chance of sweating compared to men.

Dr de Boer said: "Previous research has shown sex differences in how heart attacks occur in the body, but it is uncertain how or whether this relates to symptom presentation. The cause of symptom differences between the sexes deserves further study."

van Oosterhout REM, de Boer AR, Maas AHEM, et al. Sex Differences in Symptom Presentation in Acute Coronary Syndromes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. J Am Heart Assoc 4 May 2020; DOI:10.1161/JAHA.119.014733.

http://ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.119.014733

Tags: Europe | Heart Health | Men's Health | Women's Health & Gynaecology

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