Female heart attack patients take longer to get to the hospital
Seventy percent of women having a heart attack took longer than an hour to get to a hospital, according to a 2015 European study of 7,400 heart attack patients. Only 30 percent of men with heart attack symptoms took as long, HealthDay reported. A main reason for the delay: Women took longer to call for help than men did. “Our findings should set off an alarm for women, who may not understand their personal risk of heart disease and may take more time to realize they are having a heart attack and need urgent medical help,” study author Raffaele Bugiardini, a professor of cardiology at the University of Bologna in Italy, said in a press release.
Everyday stress can affect women’s hearts more
In a recent Duke University study, men and women with heart disease performed stressful tasks while researchers studied their heart functions. Fifty-seven percent of the women experienced reduced blood flow to their hearts during stressful times compared with 41 percent of the men. Blood platelet clumping, which can lead to a heart attack, was also more prevalent in stressed women than in stressed men, a finding researchers say could help tailor blood-thinning treatment for more effective use in women.
Women need to take sleep apnea seriously
Although sleep apnea is associated with heart disease in both men and women, the sleep disorder may negatively affect the heart rates of women more than those of men, according to recent research. During various physical challenges, the heart rates of sleep apnea patients didn’t change as much or as quickly as the rates of healthy adults (a sign of greater cardiovascular disease risk). The effect was even more pronounced in the women. Researchers plan to study whether treating sleep apnea with CPAP therapy improves patients’ heart rate function.