Women’s misdiagnosed heart attacks: the COVID long-haulers of cardiology

by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters

Ed Yong, my favourite Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer over at The Atlantic, wrote recently that, when he first started reporting on the medical phenomenon called “long-COVID” (meaning ongoing debilitating COVID symptoms that continue far longer than eight weeks), few scientists or physicians knew that it existed – and more importantly, many even doubted that it did:

“Some researchers still hesitate to recognize long-COVID if it doesn’t present in certain ways; they’re running studies without listening to patients. Long-haulers are growing frustrated that what is self-evident to them – that their condition is very real and in need of urgent attention – is taking a worrying amount of time to be acknowledged.”

That paragraph beautifully captures what women whose heart attack symptoms were initially dismissed have described as well – that sense of not being listened to during a heart attack that was “very real”.    .     .    .

Continue reading “Women’s misdiagnosed heart attacks: the COVID long-haulers of cardiology”

Yentl Syndrome: cardiology’s gender gap is alive and well

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

There’s a big fat yawning gap between cardiovascular diagnostic tests and resulting medical treatments – depending on whether doctors are looking at a male or a female patient lying there on the gurney. I’ve been saying this out loud ever since I came home from Mayo Clinic, where I first learned about the gender gap from Mayo cardiologists following my own heart attack misdiagnosis.

When asked if we might need to develop a new set of diagnostic/treatment protocol guidelines to specifically address this gap, Dr. Sharonne Hayes (founder of the Mayo Women’s Heart Clinic) responded:

“Part of the problem now is that the clinical practice guidelines are less likely to be applied to women compared to men.

“We know that when hospitals have systems in place to ensure they do provide care according to the guidelines, women’s outcomes improve.”

You may be wondering what it will take to put into place systems and guidelines (already used in male patients) for all patients, including women – in order to finally close that gender gap for good.  Continue reading “Yentl Syndrome: cardiology’s gender gap is alive and well”