By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There has been a great deal of education concerning heart disease and women but, despite numerous studies stating the contrary, there are still many women who think it is next to impossible for them to suffer a heart attack.

According to an often-quoted article in the journal Circulation, women’s knowledge of heart disease still has much room for improvement. Only a little more than 50% tested said they would call 911 if they thought they were having a heart attack. Equally disturbing is the fact that many still don’t even recognize the signs of a heart attack.

Only 3 in 10 identified arm and shoulder pain as a symptom, fewer than 20% shortness of breath and nausea. Another concern is there is still a significant percentage of physicians who don’t treat chest pain as seriously in women as men.

If you are a woman and are reading this, take this message seriously and if you are a man make certain that you tell women you care about the warning signs and the need to take them seriously.

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