Enjoy Your Menopause!

November 25, 2008

Don’t Ignore Your Chest Pains

Women are more likely than men to be hospitalized for chest pain for which doctors cannot find a cause, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. In 2006, there were 477,000 admissions of women to U.S. community hospitals for unspecified chest pain compared with 379,000 admissions for men. 

Unspecified chest pain is usually characterized by a feeling of pressure, burning, or numbness. Although it is not clear why women receive this diagnosis more than men, there is some evidence that heart disease develops differently in women than men and that symptoms may be different. Medical experts believe that physicians may not always be aware of this gender difference.

The federal agency also found that men were more likely to be hospitalized for heart disease or heart attacks than were women in 2006.


• Women made up 56 percent of all admissions for unspecified chest pain, but only 38 percent of all admissions for coronary artery disease.

• Roughly 451,000 women, compared with 747,000 men, were hospitalized for coronary artery disease. This disease results in narrowing of the arteries.

• Heart attacks, which are usually caused by heart disease, sent 269,000 women to hospitals, compared with 406,000 men. Women made up 40 percent of all admissions for heart attacks.

• Hospitalizations for congestive heart failure were roughly the same for women (565,000) and men (534,000).

• Hospitalizations for irregular heart beat were also similar for women (379,000) and men (369,000).

Therefore, if you are a woman in menopause with a history of heart disease in your family, your chances of suffering a heart attack are greatly increased.  Therefore, do not ignore chest pains.   


  1. Women also have heart attacks without chest pain much more than men do! Often the most common symptom felt is fatigue!! Scary? Pay attention.

    Comment by Pat Montgomery — November 25, 2008 @ 8:23 pm | Reply

  2. I am glad to see that so much more is being put out there specifically about women’s heart health. Here’s an article from womentowomen that I think does a really good job about explaining heart disease — especially for menopausal women: http://www.womentowomen.com/heartdiseaseandstroke/riskfactors.aspx

    Comment by Jacqueline — November 28, 2008 @ 6:00 pm | Reply

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