Men, Women and Chest Pain

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Story Updated: Sep 19, 2013

Chest pain is the most common symptom of heart attack and other acute coronary syndromes, but a significant number of cardiac patients, especially women, report to the hospital without it. That's the conclusion of a new study out of Canada. The researchers looked at gender differences in younger patients, 55 and under, who received medical care for heart attacks and unstable angina. More than 80 percent of both sexes complained of chest pain, but a much higher proportion of women than men presented without it. In fact, 19 percent, or nearly one in five women did not report chest pain compared to just 13.7% of men. The most common non-chest pain symptoms -- in all patients -- were weakness, feeling hot, shortness of breath. cold sweat and pain in the left arm or shoulder. The reason for gender differences is unclear, according to the researchers. They say health care providers need to evaluate all symptoms and should remain suspicious of ACS even when patients, especially women, do not have chest pain.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news that matters to you.

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The UHS Sports Medicine Program specializes in diagnosing and treating orthopedic and sports-related injuries, providing care on an outpatient basis. The program combines the expertise of certified athletic trainers and physical therapists, who work closely with sports medicine physicians on our medical staff to help patients resume their physical activities as soon as possible.