Women Face High Risk of Misdiagnosed and Undiagnosed Heart Disease

February 2, 2016

As part of American Heart Month, the American Heart Association has designated this Friday, February 5, 2016, as National Wear Red Day. Participants are encouraged to wear red clothes, makeup, jewelry, and anything else that might grab someone’s attention and lead to a discussion about the risks women face from heart disease and strokes.

Heart Disease Is the Leading Cause of Death Among Women in the U.S.

Groups like the American Heart Association have done extensive work to combat the misconception that heart disease is a “man’s disease.” The truth is that heart disease is the cause of more deaths among women in the U.S. than any other cause. In fact, according to the most recent data made available by the Center for Disease Control, heart disease kills more women annually in this country than all forms of cancer combined. There is hope, however, because there are many ways that women can lessen their risk for developing cardiovascular diseases.

How Does the American Heart Association Recommend Minimizing the Risk of Heart Disease?

By raising awareness of—and maintaining—healthy habits, women everywhere may be able to reduce their chances of suffering from heart disease. Here are a few of the AHA’s recommendations:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Stay physically active
  • Avoid smoking/secondhand smoke
  • Reduce stress
  • Have regular wellness exams
  • Speak to your physician about the warning signs of a heart attack or stroke

Why Are Heart Diseases Misdiagnosed or Undiagnosed So Frequently Among Women?

Despite the prevalence of heart disease among women, doctors more frequently ignore clear signs of heart disease among women due to diagnostic methods that are not attuned to the presentation of symptoms in women. Women who seek treatment due to chest pain are too often diagnosed with something other than heart disease, with serious consequences.  According to one review of incorrect diagnoses of female heart disease, 61% of patients died following misdiagnosis/failure to diagnose, and 33% sustained heart damage.

As a Cleveland medical malpractice law firm, Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA represents victims of misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, and all forms of medical negligence. If you or a loved one were injured as the result of medical malpractice, contact our team of trial lawyers for a free evaluation of your claims.

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