Updated 05/11/2012 09:35 PM
Binghamton takes part in female heart research
A study that could save lives. A Binghamton University professor is part of a research team that will educate women on female heart attack symptoms. As our Elyse Mickalonis tells us, they aren’t always the same signs as heart attacks in men. Researchers say not enough women know what to look for and they’re hoping to change that.
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VESTAL, N.Y. -- It could happen to anyone in the blink of an eye.
"Although you're risk for a heart attack increases as you age, we do know that a small portion of heart attacks happen to young women,” said Pamela Stewart Fahs, RN, DSN, BU Professor of Nursing.
Studies show that there is a difference between heart attacks in men and women.
"When you typically think of a heart attack, the male symptom pattern is crushing chest pain and that may or may not happen with women. Women certain can have chest pain that’s very serve, but they may have no pain or very little pain to begin with,” said Fahs.
Fahs is taking part in a study called Matters of Your Heart that will educate women on female heart attack symptoms. The research is in conjunction with SUNY Upstate Medical University. Binghamton researchers will work with women in rural areas, while the Upstate medical team will focus on urban areas.
"We need to help women avoid what we call the pre-hospital delay. Recognizing the symptoms when they occur in them or someone else and call 911,” said Fahs.
Fahs says a grant from the Rural Nurse Organization will help with some of the costs. Health officials will visit communities during the summer and fall to give presentations on heart attack symptoms in women.
“We’ve put it to an acronym, CURBS, to help women remember female heart attack symptoms. C for chest pain, U for unusual fatigue, R radiating pain, B for difficulty breathing and S for sweating,” said Fahs.
Researchers say the upcoming presentations and study are important, because many people still don’t know the symptoms of a female heart attack.
"Fifty percent of women still don’t know heart disease is the number one killer of women and if they are aware, they may not know what to look for specific in female heart attack symptoms,” said Fahs.
Knowledge that could save a life.
Anyone interested in taking part in the presentations and study can call (607) 775-6805.