Valenzuela Law Firm, PA | Trial Attorney
Attorney Henry E. Valenzuela

Women more at risk of heart attack misdiagnosis than men

On Behalf of | Feb 25, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

If you have reached middle age, you undoubtedly are paying closer attention to your heart. After all, even though heart disease can strike at any age, it is exceedingly more common in older Americans. Visiting your doctor for regular health screenings is likely to minimize your risk of suffering catastrophic injuries or dying from heart disease.

A heart attack is a medical emergency. That is, if you do not receive treatment within an hour of the onset of your symptoms, you are vulnerable to scarring, tissue damage and other complications. Still, if your doctor does not realize you are having a heart attack, you may not receive the treatment you need to recover completely or even to survive.

A diagnostic bias

According to the Cleveland Clinic, men are roughly twice as likely to have a heart attack during their lifetimes than women. Nevertheless, when women have heart attacks, they often have worse prognoses than their male counterparts.

Unfortunately, when it comes to heart attacks, there may be a diagnostic bias against women. According to reporting from Pharmacy Times, a recent study of attack attacks in women found a 5% misdiagnosis rate. This compares to just a 3% misdiagnosis rate in men.

Your health outcomes

Doctors should believe their patients when they complain of chest pain and other heart attack symptoms. To ensure you have positive health outcomes, however, you may want to keep the diagnostic bias in the back of your mind.

Put simply, to receive the correct diagnosis, you may have to be forceful with your doctor. If your doctor ultimately misdiagnoses your heart attack, though, you may be eligible for substantial financial compensation for any additional injuries or other consequences you suffer.