Heart attacks hurt women emotionally

Feb. 14, 2013 at 8:53 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Heart attacks may be emotionally tougher on women than men in the United States, a survey indicates.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, based on 353,492 interviews of U.S. adults from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2012, asked each respondent whether each experienced a good deal of the following the previous day: respect, smiled or laughed, learned something, experienced enjoyment, experienced physical pain, worry, sadness, stress, anger and happiness. These 10 items comprise the Emotional Health Index.

In 2012, 3.8 percent of women reported ever being diagnosed with a heart attack versus 6.4 percent of men. Self-reported incidence of a heart attack was stable across age groups, with women consistently reporting lower rates of heart attacks than men, the survey said.

Women who suffered a heart attack, regardless of their income level, reported lower emotional health than women who did not have a heart attack. However, the same was not true for men. Higher-income men experienced no change to emotional health after a heart attack, but low-income men who had a heart attack experienced a decline in emotional health similar to that of low-income women.

The survey has a margin of error was 1 percentage point.

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