Women suffer fewer heart attacks than men, researchers report, but are more likely to die from a first heart attack than are men.
Spanish researchers led by Juame Marrugat of Barcelona’s Institut Municipal d’Investigacio Medica studied 1,460 women and men and found that women had a 70 percent greater chance of dying within a month of a first heart attack than did men.
Marrugat said that women’s heart attacks tend to be severe and often lead to complications during the first six months after the initial attack. The number of women who return to emergency rooms within six months after a first heart attack is double that of men. “Women may be less vulnerable to a heart attack, but when they have it, it’s worse,” says Marrugat.
Research indicated that women tended to be older than men at the time of their first heart attack, implying that age may be a primary reason why women suffer more. Women also take about an hour longer to get to the hospital after the onset of their symptoms.
Marrugat and collegues plan to investigate into a possible link between estrogen levels and the risk of heart attack with further research.