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Nobody wants to find out they have heart disease, but according to a new study women are more likely than men to ignore the danger signs and delay essential care. And the later treatment is started, the fewer the options.

The findings, published in a press release from the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Vancouver found men who developed symptoms such as angina (a type of chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart) sought treatment sooner, rather than ignoring or denying them or dismissing them as unimportant. Women on the other hand were more likely to assume that the symptoms would go away or get better on their own.

In addition to dismissing obvious warning signs such as chest pain, pain in the arm, or shortness of breath, both men and women may not be aware that there are many atypical signs of heart disease such as nausea, sweating, jaw pain, or any pain that is unusual. But women may experience and describe pain differently than men.

The press release also referred to earlier studies that show women were more concerned about the economic impact being out of commission would cause, and less concerned about the most effective treatments.

Photo: James Palinsad via Flickr

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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