June 19, 2024

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Differences Found in Heart Attack Warning Signs between Genders

Differences Found in Heart Attack Warning Signs between Genders


Differences Found in Heart Attack Warning Signs between Genders.

A recent study has delved into the most common warning signs associated with fatal out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, highlighting significant disparities in symptoms between genders.

Researchers hope their findings will improve survival rates and educate individuals on when to call for emergency assistance.

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest refers to the sudden loss of heart function, breathing, and consciousness, with only 10% of individuals surviving.


Differences Found in Heart Attack Warning Signs between Genders



In a bid to better predict and prevent heart attacks, researchers from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center investigated warning signs occurring within 24 hours before cardiac arrest.

Emergency medical personnel from Ventura County Emergency Medical Services provided community data to investigators at Cedars-Sinai Hospital for the “Prediction of Ethnic and Racial-Specific sudden cardiac death (PRESTO) study,” led by the Smidt Heart Institute, aimed at enhancing our understanding of cardiac arrest.

The study’s lead author, Sumeet Chugh, stated, “Effectively triaging individuals in need of a 911 call based on warning symptoms can facilitate early interventions, preventing imminent fatalities. Our findings could usher in a new paradigm for preventing sudden cardiac deaths.”

Data was obtained from two mature community studies, namely the Prediction of Ethnic and Racial-Specific sudden cardiac death (PRESTO) study in Ventura County, California, and the Sudden Unexplained Death Study (SUDS) in Portland, Oregon.

Participants, aged 18 to 85, had to have their cardiac arrest witnessed by a bystander or emergency medical services (EMS) responder. Researchers assessed the occurrence of symptoms preceding cardiac arrest and compared the results to a control group involving EMS personnel who did not experience cardiac arrest but may have had symptoms mistaken for it.

The data revealed that within hours leading up to cardiac arrest, 50% of witnesses observed at least one distinct symptom. Compared to the control group, patients were more likely to exhibit shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (41%), chest pain (33%), sweating (12%), and seizure-like activity (11%). Interestingly, symptoms differed between men and women. In men, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and sweating were significantly associated with cardiac arrest, while in women, only difficulty breathing showed a significant correlation.

Eduardo Marbán, Executive Director of the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, stated, “This is the first community-based study to assess the relationship between warning symptoms or a cluster of symptoms and impending cardiac arrest by comparing them to routinely recorded emergency medical service symptom reports.”

Researchers noted that their study paves the way for further research, which will integrate all symptoms with other characteristics to strengthen cardiac arrest prediction.

Chugh added, “Next steps involve supplementing these critical gender-specific warning symptoms with other features such as clinical characteristics and biomarkers to enhance our ability to predict cardiac arrest.”

This study was published in The Lancet Digital Health journal.




Differences Found in Heart Attack Warning Signs between Genders

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