Abstract 17015: Women Admitted With Presumed Acute Myocardial Infarction Report No Difference in Symptom Expression Regardless of Final Diagnosis
Introduction: AMI is common among women. Delay in seeking treatment upon the onset of AMI symptoms is longer in women than men. Inadequate AMI symptom recognition is thought to be the reason for this delay disparity. Many patients, especially women, are admitted with a suspected AMI only to receive another diagnosis, yet there are no studies comparing symptoms between those diagnosed with and without an AMI.
Objective: To compare presenting and prodromal symptoms in women admitted with presumed AMI based on their final discharge diagnosis (AMI vs. no-AMI).
Methods: Data were collected via inpatient interviews on women admitted with a suspected AMI. The Mcsweeney Acute and Prodromal Myocardial Infarction Symptom Survey, a comprehensive instrument with well-established reliability and validity, was used. Post-discharge chart review placed patients in the AMI group (n = 42) or the no-AMI group (n = 56).
Results: Of the 38 acute and 33 prodromal symptoms only 4 differences were noted. The no-AMI group reported higher frequencies of the following: acute feelings of the heart racing (p = .04), prodromal pain centered high in the chest (p = .04), prodromal pain over the left breast (p = .04) and prodromal increase in frequency of headaches (p = .04). The no-AMI group also reported higher severity of prodromal discomfort in the general chest area (p = .04), over the left breast (p = .04), both legs (p = .01), prodromal fatigue (p = .02), shortness of air (p = .02) and frequent indigestion (p = .01). The positive AMI group reported a higher severity level only with acute discomfort in both arms (p = .01)
Conclusions: The acute and prodromal symptom expression of both groups is very similar, suggesting that differences in presenting symptoms may not distinguish between those with AMI versus those with no AMI. Therefore, symptoms may not warn of an impending AMI rendering the decision to seek medical attention difficult.
Author Disclosures: C.S. Smith: None.
- © 2016 by American Heart Association, Inc.