Dr.Lichtman JH et al. studied the difference in presentation and perception of symptoms among young patients of different sexes.They reported that women and men suffering acute myocardial infarction (AMI) present with different symptomatology. Beyond identifying differences between the sexes, this study highlights the need for clinicians to include AMI in the differential diagnosis of young adults.The study has been published in Circulation.
It has been reported that women and men suffering acute myocardial infarction (AMI) present with different symptomatology. To ascertain this in adults aged ≤55, researchers analyzed data from standardized patient interviews in the multisite VIRGO study of 2985 patients hospitalized with AMI; patients were enrolled in a 2:1 female-to-male ratio (mean age, 47; 76% white).
Chest pain, pressure, tightness, or discomfort was a presenting symptom in 87% of women and 90% of men. Overall, women presented with a greater number of additional non–chest-pain symptoms than men; 62% of women and 55% of men presented with ≥3 such symptoms. In adjusted analyses, women aged >45 had a 40% greater likelihood of presenting without chest pain than men. Women with ST-segment elevation MIs were 50% more likely than men to present without chest pain. More than half of patients initially thought that their symptoms were due to a non–heart-related condition, with indigestion and acid reflux the most common self-diagnoses. Women were more likely than men to attribute their symptoms to stress and anxiety (21% vs. 12%); men were more likely to attribute them to muscle pain (21% vs. 15%). Women waited longer to seek medical attention (3.2 hours vs. 2.4 hours). Prehospitalization, more women than men had sought medical attention for similar symptoms (30% vs. 22%); over half of the women reported that the clinicians did not deem their symptoms to be heart-related (53% vs. 37% of men).
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Lichtman JH et al. Sex differences in the presentation and perception of symptoms among young patients with myocardial infarction: Evidence from the VIRGO study (Variation in Recovery: Role of Gender on Outcomes of Young AMI Patients). Circulation 2018 Feb 20; 137:781. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/