When most of us think of heart attacks and strokes the picture that immediately comes to mind is an overweight, balding, middle-aged man gripping his chest in appalling agony.
This is an image we have seen a thousand times in movies and TV shows. One image you don’t see is that of a woman gripping her chest in the same way as she has a heart attack.
That is because we have become accustomed to thinking of heart attacks as a male problem that does not really affect women. Hallmark TV movies of the week will depict a woman dying of cervical cancer or some other tear-jerking “women’s problem”.
In fact, cardiovascular diseases are the cause of over a third of all women’s deaths in the United States making it easily the biggest cause of premature death in American women.
Another fact is that “men grabbing their chest” image is inaccurate as for the last 25 years and more women than men die from heart attacks and strokes. One of the reasons for others seemingly “unknown” fact is that even the medical profession still thinks of men as the major victims.
This often leads to misdiagnosis and a lack of treatment for women with heart problems. Women suffering from heart conditions are often diagnosed with having, menopause, fatigue, or other “women’s problems”.