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Missed and delayed diagnosis of heart disease in women

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2024 | medical malpractice

Heart health is important no matter a person’s age. While we know of many mechanisms to improve heart health, such as diet and exercise, there are limitations when it comes to detecting and treating cardiovascular diseases. Specifically, the gender focus of this and other ailments creates health risks as well as missed diagnoses and misdiagnoses.

Heart disease in women

Most often, women are harmed by the gender inequity in cardiovascular research, education and medical practices. This is because the information surrounding heart health and heart disease is based on the way men present signs and symptoms of heart problems. However, the biological differences between men and women impacts how a heart attack or heart disease presents itself.

Based on current data, less than 20% of medical schools include sex-and-gender-based curriculum that goes beyond ob-gyn. And while studies show that women with heart disease often suffer a missed or delayed diagnosis, this matter is dangerously underdiscussed.

Misdiagnosis and missed diagnoses of heart disease

Heart disease in women presents itself differently than it does in men. While the signs and symptoms are unique and sometimes confusing, when women are presenting signs of heart disease or cardiac distress, they are often disregarded as having a panic attack.

Incidents of missed diagnoses and misdiagnoses of heart attacks in women are attributing it to stress, their nerves or tennis elbow. Because the symptoms of heart disease in women can be subtle or present differently from symptoms in men, a missed or delayed diagnosis is often the result.

Diagnostic errors can cause significant harm to a patient’s health and even their life. As such, it is important to understand your rights if you or a loved one suffered due to a diagnostic error. A medical malpractice claim could help establish cause and liability, helping hold a negligent medical professional accountable. This civil action also assists with the recovery of compensation to help address losses and damages suffered.