Women "too little considered and treated too badly" – SonntagsZeitung

The heart is considered a particularly sensitive organ of men. According to the prevalent opinion, it is those who suffer from permanent stress, overwork at work, too rich food and too little exercise, which causes the pump to slow down too quickly. This shot is as common as fake, and it threatens every day health women and puts their lives in danger. A large study published in the European Heart Journal has shown that women's chances of experiencing cardiac arrest outside the clinic are considerably lower than those of men.

A Dutch medical team led by cardiologist Hanno Tan of the University of Amsterdam analyzed more than 5,700 emergencies outside the hospital over a six-year period. For women, the chances of cardiac arrest were poor in many ways, starting with the helpfulness of first responders. Lay women were less likely than men to try to keep them alive through chest compressions – this ratio was 68-73% – even though passers-by had heard the emergency directly. Women are less likely than men to think of a heart problem.

Symptoms in women are not so easy to recognize

Doctors and paramedics do not seem to be an exception, because in the aftermath of the rescue chain, women do not have better prospects. Thus, the survival rate of women between cardiac arrest and hospitalization in the Dutch survey was also worse. If they reached the clinic alive, only 37% of women could leave the hospital in good health, against 55% of men.

Calculated from the beginning of the emergency outside the clinic, the probability for a woman in cardiac arrest, optimally taken care of by the first responders, well treated at the hospital and then returned at home in good health, with 12.5% ​​less than half Men in cardiac arrest.

"It is assumed that most people are unaware that cardiac arrest may be as common in women as it is in men, and sometimes women themselves do not realize how symptoms are urgent, "Tan said. "The symptoms of early cardiac arrest are not so easy to recognize, they can manifest as fatigue, fainting, nausea or pain in the throat and jaw, while men tend to complain about typical symptoms such as chest pain. "

"Every minute counts"

The differences in complaints and treatment of heart disease were at the beginning of gender-specific medicine. In particular, cardiology is considered an excellent example of the fact that women in medicine are treated less well – which is unfortunately not the case only in cases of cardiac arrest.

It is also less likely that women will be diagnosed with a heart attack, undergo cardiac catheterization and dilate their coronary vessels with a balloon catheter. "Since cardiac arrest usually occurs outside the clinic, there would be a lot to do if we sensitize public opinion to the same thing in women," Tan said. And: "Every minute counts, because there is very little time to save the lives of patients."

Not much has happened for women

Sometimes it just depends on making an emergency call. In some cases, however, differences in care are also socially based, for example, because more senior women live alone and receive no help or help at a later date. However, Tan is convinced that delays and gaps in diagnosis and therapy within the medical profession are easily corrected.

This hope will be optimistic in 2019, perhaps even far from reality. Finally, for more than 20 years, gender medicine has constantly drawn attention to the delay needed in cardiology to treat women as well as men. As early as 2006, at the first World Congress on Gender Medicine, women physicians complained that women in cardiology "are underestimated, under-researched, and under-treated." Since then, at least a new generation of new doctors has been trained and has assumed responsibilities in medicine – without much change for women in practice.

After menopause, the heart often pumps much more

However, at the University Hospital Zurich, there has been a field in recent years called Cardiovascular Medicine, which deals specifically with these issues. Under the direction of cardiologist Catherine Gebhard, a team is also studying why women's hearts age differently than men's. The Gebhard team has already shown that there is a clear difference between the aging of men's hearts and that of women. In humans, the systolic pumping function, when the heart pumps blood into the body, remains more or less the same or decreases slightly with age. In women, however, it often increases rapidly after menopause.

It is unclear whether this increase is one of the causes of increased mortality among women after a heart attack or heart failure. Gebhard's team is currently examining various gender-related changes that could be more damaging to women's hearts. One possibility would be the hormonal change at menopause and also differences in the release of stress hormones by the autonomic nervous system.

(Sunday newspaper)

Created: 16.06.2019, 19:33 hours