Delays for Heart Attack Victims
People who suffer from a heart attack will often wait 2 whole hours before getting help. Despite numerous public education campaigns urging people to seek immediate medical attention, even for the slightest of symptoms. It is recommended to call 911 when heart attacks symptoms appear and do not improve within 5 minutes. These symptoms include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, and discomfort in any areas of the upper body.
Heart attacks vary in severity, but it is impossible for people to tell the difference between a big heart attack and a small one. This is why getting help for a heart attack quickly is so important. Yet in recent years, people have still have not shortened the average time of 2 hours to seek help.
In a new study, researchers examined 104,622 who suffered from heart attacks from 2001 to 2006. They found the average delay between symptoms and arriving at the hospital was 2 and a half hours. Around 60% delayed more than 2 hours and 11% delayed more than 12 hours between the appearances of symptoms and arriving at the hospital. Older, female, nonwhite, diabetic, or currently-smoking individuals were more likely to have more delays. Also, people who arrived at the hospital at night had 25% shorter delays compared to people on a normal business day.
Researchers conclude more must be done to get people to seek help right after heart attack symptoms first appear. So if you should feel chest discomfort, shortness of breath, and discomfort in any areas of the upper body, see a doctor immediately.
Heart Rate is an Indicator
The resting heart rate of a woman is a good indicator of heart attack risk. Even after taking into account of other risk factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption, the resting heart rate still proves to be an accurate predictor of heart risk.
According to WebMD, 129,135 records of postmenopausal women who had no history of heart problems were studied by a team of scientists. Their heart rates were taken at the start of the studied and were followed up for the next 8 years. What the researchers discovered were women with heart rates of 76 beats or above had a much more likely to have a heart attack than women with the lowest heart rates of 62 beat per second.
The correlation was still relevant after factoring in physical activity levels, race, high blood pressure, and even cholesterol abnormalities. Then also amending the study for factors that affect heart rate like smoking, body mass index, and other variables, the relationship held steady. The results were more prevalent in women under 65 years of age. Despite more complex and expensive methods to assess heart risk, resting heart rate is still a straightforward indicator to predict coronary events (not stroke) in post-menopausal women.
Heart Attacks Increase
According to recent articles published by Health News of North Shore University Health System and WebMD Health News, there has been an increase of heart attacks in middle-aged women. Researchers studied a group of 8,000 men and women aged 35-54 from 1988 to 1994 and 1999 to 2004. Results show that risk factors for heart attack such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and smoking status improved among men and worsened among women. Diabetes, a strong risk factor for heart disease, increased for both men and women, probably because of increased obesity among both sexes. Although men had more heart attacks than women during both periods, the gap narrowed from 2.5% of men and 0.7% of women reporting a heart attack to 2.2% and 1% of women.
On the bright side, in a study taken between 1994 and 2006, it was found that the number of people who died in hospitals after a heart attack has dramatically decreased. And the majority of these patients were women. In fact, the decrease in death rate was three times larger in women under the age of 55 than in men of the same age group. Studies are showing that the death rate decrease after a heart attack is also becoming apparent in older men and women. If you are working in a stressful position, you may consider taking a free career quiz to see which professional path may be better for you.