Men and women experience different symptoms 24 hours before cardiac arrest: here’s what to look out for

Researchers have highlighted the gender-specific differences in symptoms preceding a cardiac arrest. A study involving over 1,672 individuals found that women experience shortness of breath as a prominent sign, while men tend to experience chest pain. Both genders also exhibit palpitations, seizure-like activity, and flu-like symptoms before a cardiac arrest.

Dr. Sumeet Chugh from Cedars-Sinai in California hopes these findings will help people recognize cardiac arrest symptoms promptly and take immediate action. Currently, around 450,000 deaths per year in the US result from cardiac arrests, and swift identification of symptoms could lead to early intervention and prevention of fatal outcomes.

The study analyzed data from two ongoing studies in California and Oregon, focusing on emergency medical services reports. Notably, for women, difficulty breathing was significantly linked to cardiac arrest, while for men, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and excessive sweating were associated with it.

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating, depriving the body of oxygen-rich blood and potentially causing unconsciousness or death. What differentiates a cardiac arrest from a heart attack is that they occur when blood supply to the heart muscle is cut off due to a clot in one of the coronary arteries.

Among the most common causes of cardiac arrest are heart attacks, heart disease and inflammation of the heart muscle. Administering defibrillation can restore the heart’s rhythm, and CPR can maintain oxygen circulation if defibrillation is not immediately available.

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