Women are more likely to die from heart attacks than men,according to results discussed Tuesday at the American Collegeof Cardiology Meeting in Anaheim, Calif.

Researcher Nisha Chandra reached this conclusion afteranalyzing data collected by the National Registry of MyocardialInfarction (NMRI), a registry of more than 100,000 heart attackpatients sponsored by Genentech Inc.

Chandra, an associate professor of medicine at Johns HopkinsUniversity School of Medicine in Baltimore, found that ofpeople over the age of 70, substantially more women than mensuffer heart attacks (56.5 percent vs. 32.7 percent). But thosewomen were less likely to be treated with thrombolytictherapy within zero to four hours of the onset of chest painsthan men (67.6 percent vs. 73.6 percent.) And with or withoutthrombolytic therapy, more women heart-attack victims diethan do men.

Chandra noted that some recent studies indicate than women'sheart attack symptoms may differ from men's. Rather than acrushing mid-chest pain that often radiates through the chestor left arm, women may experience a more lingering pain orvague chest discomfort, causing them to delay seeking medicalhelp early. Thus, not only do "physicians need to be moreaware than women will often have atypical presentation with aheart attack," Chandra said, but "it's imperative that we beginto determine causative factors and lower the time to treatmentand death rate among women."

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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