Heart attack care inequalities ‘costing women’s lives’
A report by the British Heart Foundation has revealed that women who suffer heart attacks are needlessly dying as symptoms are not being recognised and they are receiving poorer care than men.
The report found that over a period of ten years, over 8,000 women in England and Wales died unnecessarily following a heart attack, adding that common myths, such as that heart attacks and heart disease only affect men, meant that women were less likely to be aware of their risk and slow to seek medical assistance.
Each year in the UK, around 35,000 women are admitted to hospital following a heart attack, an average of four per hour, or 98 each day.
Chris Gale, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, who led the study, found that thousands of women’s lives were unnecessarily lost following heart attacks between the years 2003 and 2014.
He went on to say “The problem is not unique to the UK. Studies across the globe have also revealed gender gaps in treatment, suggesting this is a deeply entrenched and complex issue.
“On their own, the differences in care are very small, but when we look at this across the population of the UK, it adds up to a significant loss of life.
“We can do better.”
The British Heart Foundation’s Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan, said “Heart attacks have never been more treatable. Yet women are dying needlessly because heart attacks are often seen as a man’s disease, and women don’t receive the same standard of treatment as men.”
She added that studies had “revealed inequalities at every stage of a woman’s medical journey, and although complex to dissect, they suggest unconscious biases are limiting the survival chances of women.”
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Posted by Karen Motley, Clinical Negligence Department, Chadwick Lawrence LLP (firstname.lastname@example.org ), medical negligence lawyers and clinical negligence solicitors in Huddersfield, Leeds, Wakefield and Halifax, West Yorkshire.
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