Last updated: Apr 07, 2008
Women are more likely than men to delay seeking treatment at the first signs of a heart attack, a behavior pattern that has puzzled cardiologists and contributes to the higher mortality rate from heart attack among women.
A Heart Attack Is a Race Against Time
"I thought I was gonna drop" Watch video
Finding the best cardiac hospital
During a heart attack, go to the nearest hospital. After immediate treatment, it's often a good idea to transfer to a hospital with better heart facilities. In 2005 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services launched Hospital Compare, a website that tracks the quality of heart attack care at hospitals across the country.
"The longer a person waits to get help, the greater the chance that the heart will suffer damage," says Richard O'Brien, MD, an emergency physician at Moses Taylor Hospital, in Scranton, Penn. Treatments for heart attacksincluding clot-busting drugs and balloon angioplastyare most effective in the first hour postattack.