Interesting article in USA Today about mortality rates in women who suffer heart attacks. Full article is here. I'll just touch on a few things because I found this article to be rather scary. My comments are in blue.
Women are less likely to get immediate treatment to stop the heart attack in its tracks: clot-busting drugs, balloon procedures to open the arteries or bypass surgery, the study says. Partly because of such delays, 15% of female heart attack patients die in the hospital, compared with 10% of men. That's a HUGE disparity between men and women and they are just now studying why this is???
The study actually may underestimate the gender gap, because many female heart attacks never make it to the hospital, says Cam Patterson, chief of cardiology at theUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Even scarier!
Forty-two percent of women never experience the classic heart attack symptom of chest pain or pressure, compared with 31% of men, the study says. I always just assumed that these were a given when having a heart attack but not so....read on. Women without chest pain may develop shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, light-headedness and pain in the back or jaw, according to the American Heart Association.
Women who develop sudden, crippling fatigue — such as the feeling that they can't tidy the kitchen without a rest — may face imminent danger of a heart attack. Really? This is the example - the little woman can't clean the kitchen without getting tired??? How sexist is this article getting?!?!
Doctors or emergency responders may not take women's symptoms seriously, says Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York and an American Heart Association spokeswoman. "Women are coming in saying they're nauseous, they're fatigued, they're sweating, and doctors say, 'You're fine,' " she says. "Doctors will say it's anxiety and it's all in your head." Oh yeah...the hypochondriac, delirious woman who can't tell when something is seriously wrong with her.
"We have a tendency to downplay what we're feeling," Steinbaum says. "If you say to your doctors, 'It's probably in my head,' then the person who is listening starts dismissing it. If you think you're having a heart attack, say it. And if you're wrong, then you're wrong." I like that they include this in the article. Because it's not always the big bad doctor downplaying our symptoms. Many times, we do it to ourselves. We must be advocates for our own health! It's our bodies...WE know when something isn't right!
I know many of us looked into WLS for health issues...either we already had comorbidities or we wanted to avoid them. I think it's sad in this day and age that women still don't feel empowered about their health and doctors STILL don't realize that men and women are different and can often experience different symptoms that relate to the same problem. February is Heart Month...so a gentle reminder that losing weight is not just about fitting into the jeans or numbers on a scale - it's about a true improvement in health and our well being.
Stepping off soapbox....