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Women’s Hearts

December 21, 2005

According to a new study, women are disturbingly likely to downplay or dismiss symptoms of heart disease.


Why more women should listen to their hearts. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Women with heart disease may be too stoic for their own good. That’s according health researcher Steve Erikson and his colleagues at the University of Michigan. Looking at 500 heart patients, they found that the female patients had more serious symptoms, took more medications, and were more physically impaired by their disease than the male patients. Yet they described their illness as less severe than the men did. And Dr. Erikson says the problem appears to be even broader.

STEVE ERIKSON (University of Michigan):
The medical literature is full of examples of where women will downplay, not just cardiac illness, but illness in general.

Which means both doctors and patients may need to be more vigilant when it comes to women’s health. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.