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Heart Attacks Deadliest for Young Women, Study Finds

Heart attacks can be deadliest for young women, according to a new study.

Heart attacks can be deadliest for young women, according to a new study. Researchers found that not only were young women more likely to be sicker than young men once they arrived at a hospital – they were also more likely to die there. Yale cardiologist Dr. Harlan Krumholz and colleagues found that anywhere between 2 percent and 3 percent of young women, aged 30-54, who were hospitalized for a heart attack died over the years 2001 to 2010. That compares to 1.7 percent to 2 percent of men the same age, they reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“Young women are commonly thought not to be at risk for heart attacks,” Krumholz said. “The point here is that young women should not ignore symptoms that could suggest a heart attack.” The symptoms – which range from chest pain and shortness of breath to fatigue and nausea – can vary between men and women. “While the medical community has focused on educating more women on heart disease, it hasn’t yet customized its message for young women,” says cardiologist Dr. Jennifer Mieres of the North Shore-LIJ Health System. “All of these things lead to a delay in recognizing symptoms, a delayed diagnosis, and a delay in treatment strategies because women are coming in to the hospital later.”

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-- Nikita Japra