Gender differences in signs and symptoms presentation and treatment of Jordanian myocardial infarction patients

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Heart disease is the number one killer in the USA. In Jordan, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, and about 34.5% of women die of cardiovascular disease as compared with 44.25% of men. The differences between men and women in heart disease, such as signs and symptoms presentation, diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, are becoming more apparent in the literature. There is a dearth of research regarding gender differences among Jordanian myocardial infarction (MI) patients. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the differences between Jordanian men and women in signs and symptoms presentation of MI and follow-up care. A convenience sample of 83 patients (26 women and 57 men) who were diagnosed with MI, mentally competent and haemodynamically stable were used to explore the research questions. An interview guide and chart audit were used to elicit information about initial and associated signs and symptoms and treatment plan of MI patients. Chest pain was the most common initial symptom in both men and women. The four most common associated signs and symptoms reported by both men and women were general weakness, sweating, nausea and fatigue. However, women experienced more general weakness and sweating compared with men. Women were less likely to receive intravenous nitroglycerin, heparin and thrombolytic therapy for the treatment of MI. Chest pain was the initial symptom of MI reported by men and women. Although similarities exist in the associated sings and symptoms, women might experience different associated signs and symptoms from men. Despite these similarities, women are still less likely than men to receive the therapeutic regimen used for men.

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