Heart Health

published : 2023-09-06

Gender-specific warning signs of cardiac arrest revealed in study

‘Sex-specific symptoms’ occurred within 24 hours of heart attack, said researchers

A photo of a woman experiencing shortness of breath, taken with a Canon EOS R.

Half of those who suffer cardiac arrest experience a telling symptom 24 hours before the incident, according to a study recently published in The Lancet Digital Health journal. Researchers from Smidt Heart Institute found that this warning symptom was different in men and women.

For women, shortness of breath was the symptom that preceded an impending cardiac arrest, while for men, chest pain was the prominent complaint. Sweating and seizure-like activity occurred in smaller subgroups of both genders, the researchers noted.

Sudden cardiac arrest outside the hospital has a 90% mortality rate, making it essential to recognize early warning signs.

Dr. Craig Basman, a renowned expert in cardiac health, discusses new life-saving technology and the variables that can predict sudden cardiac events. He emphasizes the importance of identifying warning symptoms to perform effective triage and prevent imminent death.

A close-up image of a man clutching his chest in pain, taken with a Nikon D850.

To gather data on predicting sudden cardiac arrest, Dr. Craig Basman's research team conducted the PRESTO study in California and the SUDS study in Oregon. They analyzed individual symptoms and sets of symptoms that occurred prior to sudden cardiac arrest and compared them to control groups seeking emergency medical care.

The PRESTO study showed that 50% of the individuals who experienced sudden cardiac arrest had at least one telltale symptom beforehand. The SUDS study yielded similar results.

These findings highlight the sex-specific differences in heart symptoms, which are crucial for both health care professionals and patients. Early detection and prevention are key to improving patient outcomes by allowing timely interventions and medical attention.

Moving forward, further research studies will focus on enhanced prediction models for sudden cardiac arrest by incorporating additional features such as clinical profiles and biometric measures.

An image of a person sweating and experiencing seizure-like activity, taken with a Sony A7 III.

Dr. Allen Jeremias, a respected cardiologist, praises the research, emphasizing the importance of identifying specific symptoms and the sex-specific differences in these symptoms for early detection and prevention. He stresses the need to educate patients about the broad range of potential red flags and the risk factors for heart disease.

Each patient is unique, so not all individuals will experience the same symptoms. Health care providers should take a comprehensive approach, considering the medical history, risk factors, and individual symptoms when evaluating patients.

In conclusion, understanding gender-specific warning signs of cardiac arrest can contribute to early detection and prevention of this life-threatening condition. By recognizing the subtle symptoms and seeking prompt medical attention, lives can be saved.