Cardiologist Dr. Stacey Rosen sets the record straight for her colleagues: “Decades ago, when we didn’t understand coronary microvascular disease, we told women they should take Maalox or anti-anxiety medication, when in fact this was a form of ischemic heart disease that was poorly understood.”
Heart disease, like cancer, is not one but several disorders. And at least two of these disorders are far more likely to show up in women than in the “Hollywood Heart Attacks” of our male counterparts. For all heart attack survivors whose debilitating cardiac symptoms may have been blown off by uninformed medical staff because of “normal” cardiac test results, I’m happy to share this useful list of credible resources about microvascular disease and coronary artery spasm, thanks to a persistent Australian woman who survived her heart attack at age 51 – despite having no coronary artery blockages.
European women experiencing a heart attack are treated later than men, they are treated less intensively, and they receive less medication and information when they are sent home from the hospital. This cardiologist lists six distinct problems preventing European women from getting better care and treatment for heart disease – and they may sound very familiar to women here in North America.
“The first cardiologist told me that my abnormal test results were a ‘false positive’ because I am a woman” – and other ways that women’s heart disease has been misdiagnosed (or is that underdiagnosed?)
Numbness in the lip. Persistent cough. Pain between shoulder blades. Buzzing elbows. I thought I’d heard just about every possible vague or unusual heart disease symptom in women so far, but here’s one that I had never heard about until just recently.