Heart attack is a typical male illness

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Heart attack is still a typical male illness. In Germany, far more men die from the consequences of an infarction than women. The experts presented the new 2009 Heart Report at the autumn conference of the German Cardiac Society.

Men suffer a heart attack much more often than women. The cardiologist and doctor Dr. Ernst Bruckenberger at the autumn conference of the German Society of Cardiology (DGK): "A heart attack in Germany is still predominantly a male disease". At the symposium, the experts presented the current numbers.

Last year, according to the heart report, 133,636 men were hospitalized due to a heart attack. In contrast, 77,069 women were treated for a heart attack in a hospital. Every year 30,559 men and 26,216 women die from a heart attack in Germany. Whether the patients survive a heart attack depends very much on the regional location, as the heart specialists explain in the report presented: "In Germany, there can be no talk of even a roughly uniform care landscape for the major heart diseases," said DGK author Ernst Bruckenberger .

In Germany-wide, according to the heart report submitted, an average of 69.2 patients per 100,000 inhabitants die of a heart attack every year. It is striking that the age-adjusted death rate in East Germany (except Berlin) is much higher than in West Germany. Among other factors, this could be a sign of a medical undersupply. Because the average death rate is 10 to 46 percent higher than in the old federal states. The death rate is lowest especially in the federal states of Schleswig-Holstein, Hesse, Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen.

On the positive side, it can be said that the heart attack as such still has a high mortality rate, but the numbers have decreased significantly in recent years. "The number of deaths from myocardial infarction has decreased by a total of 10,507 deaths or 15.4 percent since 2000", Bruckenberger sums up. The death rate has decreased for men and women in all age groups. The greatest decrease is seen in patients between the ages of 70 and 80. Doctors see this as a sign of progress in diagnostics and therapy.

Around a quarter of the infarcts initially go undetected, as this causes little or no complaints. Women in particular confuse a heart attack with abdominal discomfort. Typical symptoms of a myocardial infarction are severe, burning pain in the left breast area. The pain can radiate into the upper abdomen, left arm, upper abdomen, lower jaw and back. Patients who have a heart attack also experience severe anxiety, shortness of breath, sweating and possibly nausea, dizziness and vomiting. A heart attack is a circulatory disorder due to vascular occlusion of parts of the heart muscle. This is an acute emergency and needs immediate medical attention. Around 50 percent of those affected survive a heart attack. Known risks that can trigger an infarct include genetic predisposition, obesity, high blood pressure, excessive stress and, above all, smoking.

Over 2,000 doctors from Germany, Switzerland and Austria took part in the heart symposium. It ended this Saturday. (sb, 2010-10-11)

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