Medwatch: Why heart attacks kill more women then men

Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 10:08 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - According to a cardiologist at the Heart and Cardiovascular center in Lawton, more women die from heart attacks than men.

About one in three Americans die from them every year, and experts say it’s more common to die from them than from all the cancers put together

“The mortality rate for women is higher than men,” said Dr. Vijaya Velury.

He explained this happens for several different reasons including the fact that some women experience atypical symptoms. Those symptoms include shortness of breath...jaw or back pain... and nausea or vomiting. The cause typically happens post-menopause.

" Women typically tend to have more heart attacks later in their life than men. The hormones are somehow protective in the initial stage of life so post menopausal women tend to have more heart attacks more frequently than pre menopausal women . By the time people get to the age of 75 or 80 women tend to have more frequently heart attacks than men do,” said Dr. Velury.

According to the cardiologist, 30% of people who have heart attacks never make it to the hospital. The longer a person waits for treatment the more damage the heart receives. He said doctors try to have a goal of 90 minutes to get a patient into a cardiac catheterization lab, better known as “cath lab,” to open the artery up.

“When you come to a hospital like Camanche, where it has a cath lab facillity, its easy to receive. but when you’re in a rural area going to a hospital that does not have a cath lab than you need to be transported. So there is some time lost between those times,” said Dr. Velury.

He suggests if you have a heart attack to take an aspirin while waiting for paramedics.