women + Heart Disease
The good news: word has finally seeped out that women's heart attack symptoms are different than men's heart attack symptoms.
The WTF bad news: women are still victims gender bias in the E.R., with 78% of women having their heart attack signs missed. Click here for even more bad news.
Also, women tend to fear breast cancer, but here's a newsflash: five times more women die every year from heart disease than from breast cancer. Five times!
Finally, not only does the majority of heart disease research focus on men, even in the lab, no girls allowed. That's right: boy mice and boy rats and boy rabbits are used in research studies.
(Can I just say? Boooo boy mice!)
I supposed we shouldn't be surprised that in a male-dominated entertainment industry, that current movies and TV shows often depict a classic male heart attack. Men's heart attack symptoms include chest pain, radiatig left arm or shoulder pain, shortness of breath, dizziness.
Thanks to constant AHA messaging, most folks now know that women's heart attack symptoms are different. Women are likely to have jaw pain and back pain and extreme fatigue than "classic" (read: manly) symptoms of chest pain and pain radiating down the left arm.
Best recent media depictions of heart issues?
#1 Grey's Anatomy (season 14, episode 11)
Dr. Bailey checks into an E.R. with classic female HA symptoms and, instead of having cardiac testing run, the E.R. sends down a shrink. Dr. Bailey later collapses in full cardiac arrest and then they take her seriously.
#2 Bull (season 2, episode 22) Dr. Bull spends a few hours in a courtroom, increasingly feeling physical distress, sweating, loosening his tie. Walks out on to the courhouse stairs, where he calls 9-1-1 and says "I think I'm having a heart attack."
#3 A Little Heart Attack
Brilliant PSA put together by the fine folks at the American Heart Association.
The PSA stars actress Elizabeth Banks, who said she was drawn to the project due to heart disease that runs in her family.