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AUDIO: Dr. Fogoros Talks About Heart Disease & Heart Failure

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Why is heart disease in women more dangerous than men?

Dr. Richard Fogoros: Well, it’s actually a little strange to think about but a woman with heart disease has a greater probability of a bad outcome than a man with heart disease. I am not sure that we know all of the reasons for that but clearly one of the big reasons for that is the fact that women don’t recognize that they are at risk for heart disease and neither do their doctors.

So a lot of times heart disease is not sought after, it’s not looked for until the symptoms are bad. In other words until the disease has progressed perhaps farther than it progresses in men.

Secondly, the symptoms that women get with heart disease tend to be different from the symptoms that men get and if you read the text books of medicine and the text books of cardiology, as they describe what the symptoms are to be, they describe pretty well what the symptoms are for men. They don’t describe so well what they are for women.

So doctors who are not aware of more recent findings may not focus on symptoms that women tell them about because they don’t sound like heart symptoms.

EmpowHer: They sound actually like heartburn.

A woman goes to the emergency room having a heart attack, she is often not complaining of chest pain or chest discomfort or anything at all that focuses the doctor on the chest or the heart so that the heart attack is diagnosed 40 percent less often in women than it is in men when a heart attack is actually occurring.

So these kinds of things make heart disease at this point more dangerous in women. It’s just not recognized well and when it occurs, it’s often missed until it’s waked in the course of the disease.

Richard N. Fogoros, M.D. (DrRich) is a former professor of medicine, and a longtime practitioner, researcher and author in the fields of cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology. He currently makes as a consultant in research and development with biomedical companies, and as a writer.

Experience: Dr. Rich practiced and taught clinical cardiology for 20 years, directing cardiac electrophysiology at the University of Pittsburgh, and then at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. He was listed in Best Doctors in America from its inception until he retired from practice. He has authored numerous scientific articles, book chapters, and books.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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