Research carried out by Blackrock Healthi has found that women are almost half as likely to seek medical attention for heart related symptoms than men. Only 16% of women claimed that they went to a hospital A&E to address heart related symptoms, versus 31% of men.
The findings revealed that heart related symptoms are often dismissed as a sign of ageing amid confusion over what constitutes an urgent cardiac issue. The research, conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,010 members of the general public aged 18 and over, found that 25% of people took no action when they experienced heart related symptoms, and 24% thought their symptoms were a general symptom of getting older. i
Concerningly, nearly 1 in 5 people (18%) surveyed, ignored potentially life-threatening cardiac symptoms, as they thought they would improve in time. i As part of their ongoing Show Your Heart Some Love campaign,Blackrock Health is encouraging people to learn more about potentially concerning cardiac health symptoms.
Dr. Carla Canniffe, Consultant Cardiologist at Blackrock Health said: “Cardiac symptoms are not always recognised by patients when they occur. If left untreated, they can lead to potentially life-threatening situations. This research highlighted several concerning trends; many people simply aren’t acting in response to cardiac issues when they experience them, and women in particular, are less likely to seek medical assistance. Symptoms of heart conditions are often confused with other diseases or dismissed by patients as part of ageing or something they have to live with. Accurately recognising and addressing cardiac symptoms is essential to improving patient outcomes nationwide.”
“During Irish Heart Month, we want to encourage people to learn more about the key symptoms associated with cardiac problems so that people know what to look out for, and to know when something is not right.”
Some of the common signs of cardiac issues that people should look out for include: ii
- Chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure, chest discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Pale grey or blue skin or lips
- Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper belly or back
- Dizziness, light-headedness or fainting
- Change in heartbeat – slow, irregular or racing
- Fluttering in the chest (palpitations)
- Swelling of the hands, ankles or feet
The research found that while over three quarters (77%) of adults claim to have experienced one of the heart related symptoms outlined above, only 53% of those who have experienced cardiac symptoms claim they contacted their doctor. i
Dr. Carla Canniffe added: “It is crucial to act fast if experiencing cardiac related symptoms, and to seek advice from a medical professional. Our Acute Cardiac Assessment service is available in all three clinics and is ready to connect patients experiencing such symptoms with the rapid medical care they need. By understanding what to look out for, patients can access the care they need sooner, and hopefully avert worst-case scenarios. Early detection allows us to intervene appropriately and mitigate the risk of complications developing.”
Blackrock Health’s Acute Cardiac Assessment service is available in Blackrock, Galway and Hermitage clinics and provides rapid access to expert cardiology specialists for optimal patient care. A comprehensive range of services are available, from initial assessment and diagnosis to treatment for urgent cardiac symptoms. Anyone experiencing symptoms including chest pain, palpitations (or irregular heart rhythm), or shortness of breath (suspected cardiac-related) can self-refer to the service for assessment.
For further information, visit: www.blackrockhealth.com