Myocardial infarction in women : the symptoms that should alert

Infarctus chez la femme : les symptômes qui doivent alerter

Myocardial infarction is the leading cause of death in women in Europe. One of the possible reasons : women are slower than men to call for help. However, it is important to know the symptoms, sometimes different, to react quickly.

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Infarction : a disease that also affects women

More known under the name of “heart attack”, myocardial infarction is a partial destruction of the heart muscle, which affects 120 000 people in France each year.

Contrary to what one may think, this is not a condition that affects men more, quite the contrary ! Women are also affected. A study published and the journal European Heart Journal reveals that women are on average 37 minutes longer than men to call emergency aid in the case of a heart attack. Why ? Very probably due to the lack of awareness of the myocardial female.

Myocardial women, a disease that kills more people than breast cancer

The symptoms the most well-known of a heart attack are pain in the chest and in the left arm. In the majority of cases, women also feel this pain, but it is not associated with the possibility of a heart attack. “When a man has a sore chest, called an Ambulance, but when a woman evil to this place, it is said to rest”, says professor Martine Gilard, president of the French Society of Cardiology.

And for good reason : stroke is seen as a disease of men, as it was thought, until then, the young woman (non-menopausal) protected by their hormonal status. But there would be nothing ! The French Society of Cardiologist has seen a 25% increase in myocardial infarction in this population category over the last 10 years. Myocardial infarction is the leading cause of death in women in Europe : it kills 4 times more than cancer of the breast.

The signs that should alert

In 90% of cases, we observe :

  • a diffuse pain in the chest ;
  • the pain may radiate into the arm, in the jaw or in the back ;
  • a great anguish ;
  • a shortness of breath.

In 8% to 10% of the cases, the signs are more atypical may also appear in the woman :

  • a great fatigue ;
  • nausea ;
  • pain in the back, shoulders, stomach.

In this case, the only thing you should do is to call the Ambulance by dialing 15. In the meantime, it is necessary to think to open the door to facilitate the access of relief, then lie to send the blood throughout the body and not to tire the heart.

The French Society of Cardiology and the Heart foundation & Research organized a fundraising and have launched a call for projects in order to understand, explain and prevent the progression of myocardial infarction in young women. To make a donation, visit the website of the Heart foundation & Research.

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