‘Women just as much at risk of a heart attack’

BETTER NOW Sherran Arstall, left, with Sister Brandie Sjoberg
BETTER NOW Sherran Arstall, left, with Sister Brandie Sjoberg
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A WOMAN who suffered a heart attack is aiming to raise awareness that it doesn’t just affect men.

Sherran Arstall, 67, wants to dispel the myth that men are more prone to heart disease.

In fact, statistics from the British Heart Foundation show that heart and circulatory diseases cause more than one in three of all deaths – male and female – in the UK each year.

Mrs Arstall from Langstone Road, Havant, admitted herself to Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, at the end of April because she was in so much pain.

For the past 12 years, she had been suffering with night sweats and chest pains, but had been told by medics they were related to the menopause or indigestion, and not a warning sign of a heart attack or heart-related problem.

Now QA wants to help educate the public of the warning signs, as a woman’s heart attack often presents different symptoms to a man’s.

Mrs Arstall’s consultant cardiologist Dr Ali Dana said: ‘Although women can have chest tightness as a symptom of a heart attack, women commonly have symptoms of shortness of breath, unexplained fatigue, or pressure in the lower chest, so they can easily mistake it as a stomach problem.

‘When Mrs Arstall came to our emergency department, she described her symptoms and we immediately took her to the cardiac assessment unit for tests.

‘She then had angioplasty surgery to implant two stents in her coronary artery.’

Dr Dana advises that if anyone suspects they are having a heart attack, they either call ambulance or ask someone to drive them immediately to the hospital.

Mrs Arstall said: ‘It has taken me a while to recover and come to terms with what happened.

‘Other than feeling tired more easily, I have made a full recovery

‘The consultants at QA were simply amazing and without them I might not be here today.

She added: ‘I never realised before that there could be different symptoms for men and women.’

Her husband Brian said: ‘Since she has been treated she’s like a new person.’