Journal of Cellular and Molecular Biology Research

Acute Coronary Syndrome Open Access Articles

Studies indicate that symptoms labeled as “atypical” are more common in women evaluated for myocardial infarction (MI) and may contribute to the lower likelihood of a diagnosis and delayed treatment and result in poorer outcomes compared with men with MI. Atypical pain is frequently defined as epigastric or back pain or pain that is described as burning, stabbing, or characteristic of indigestion. Typical symptoms usually include chest, arm, or jaw pain described as dull, heavy, tight, or crushing. In a recent article published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA), Ferry and colleagues addressed presenting symptoms in men and women diagnosed with MI and reported that typical symptoms in women were more predictive of a diagnosis of MI than for men. A critical question is, are there really typical or atypical symptoms, and if so, who is the reference group? We propose that researchers and clinicians either discontinue using the terms typical and atypical or provide the reference group to which the terms apply (eg, men versus women). We believe it is past time to standardize the symptom assessment for MI so that proper and rapid diagnostic testing can be undertaken; however, we cannot standardize the symptom experience.

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