A WINCHESTER doctor has warned that women across the country are suffering unnecessarily due to inadequate support for their heart health.

According to recent data from the British Heart Foundation, around 830,000 women are living with heart-related issues in the UK.

Dr Bart Olechowski, who works at Sarum Road Hospital, said that he believed more needs to be done to ensure that chest pain in women is not dismissed.

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He said: “Every year in my clinics I see hundreds of women who have been misdiagnosed or who have never had their symptoms linked to a heart-related problem before.

“There is a significant underrepresentation of women in clinical trials and research studies that are focused on heart problems. In the past, the majority of trials have predominantly included male individuals. This has led to a limited understanding of how symptoms are perceived by women.

Hampshire Chronicle: Dr Bart OlechowskiDr Bart Olechowski (Image: Circle Health Group)

“Historically there has also been a stereotype, that heart disease is predominantly a ‘man's disease’. This misconception can lead healthcare providers to downplay or even overlook certain symptoms in female patients. This, unfortunately, results in significant delays before the patient can receive the appropriate care.”

According to Dr Olechowski, approximately 100 women are admitted to hospital having suffered a heart attack every day.

He added that work needs to be done to educate people on what the signs of a heart attack are, and how they can differ between men and women.

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Symptoms include chest pains, lack of breath, palpitations, black outs, dizziness and swollen legs. These symptoms can appear at any time, with the risk increasing in people aged more than 40.

Dr Olechowski said: “It is vital that patients seek medical advice if they are worried about their symptoms. Having a chat with an experienced cardiac doctor can give patients the peace of mind that they need or to find out the cause of their symptoms.”

“To address these issues further, we need to conduct more research and increase awareness among healthcare professionals. By acknowledging and addressing these challenges, we can work towards a healthcare system that is more attuned to the needs of women in the diagnosis and treatment of heart problems.”