Can heart disease be misdiagnosed?

Despite many recent advances in cardiovascular diagnosis and treatment, misdiagnosis is still a common concern for patients at risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.

How often are heart attacks misdiagnosed?

Both men and women often didn’t realize they were exhibiting potential signs of a heart attack. Researchers found nearly 50 percent of both men and women thought their symptoms were related to noncardiac conditions.

What is the most accurate test for heart disease?

Coronary artery calcium score (CAC) was found to be the most accurate predictor of whether people would suffer one of these events, in a study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

What can mimic heart problems?

One lung problem, pulmonary embolism, can mimic a heart attack and is equally serious. A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot in an artery in the lungs. This clot cuts off blood flow, and the lung tissue begins to die. A pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

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Can doctors misdiagnose heart failure?

The most-frequent diagnostic errors are for common conditions seen by primary care doctors, including ailments such as pneumonia and heart failure that can lead to severe harm if not treated appropriately, a study found in the US.

Can a heart attack be missed on a EKG?

Heart attacks are often not detected on an ECG

Around two out of three heart attacks are not detected by ECG at all or not soon enough. The consequence of this is that many patients suffer an infarction unexpectedly – despite previous screenings – and not infrequently, the outcome is fatal.

What happens if a heart attack is misdiagnosed?

The consequences of heart attack misdiagnoses can include: Muscle death and scarring of the heart. Permanent brain damage, causing significant impairment. Readmission (almost three-quarters of patients who are initially misdiagnosed end up being readmitted to the hospital after the initial treatment is received)

What are the 4 signs your heart is quietly failing?

Heart failure

  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea) when you exert yourself or when you lie down.
  • Fatigue and weakness.
  • Swelling (edema) in your legs, ankles and feet.
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat.
  • Reduced ability to exercise.
  • Persistent cough or wheezing with white or pink blood-tinged phlegm.
  • Increased need to urinate at night.

Can you have a normal ECG but still have heart problems?

The ECG is a simple and useful test, but it has some limitations. An abnormal reading does not necessarily mean that there is something wrong with the heart. On the other hand, some people may have a normal ECG recording even though they do have a heart disease.

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What are the signs of an unhealthy heart?

Especially watch out for these problems:

  • Chest Discomfort. It’s the most common sign of heart danger. …
  • Nausea, Indigestion, Heartburn, or Stomach Pain. …
  • Pain that Spreads to the Arm. …
  • You Feel Dizzy or Lightheaded. …
  • Throat or Jaw Pain. …
  • You Get Exhausted Easily. …
  • Snoring. …
  • Sweating.


What does a heart blockage feel like?

A completely blocked coronary artery will cause a heart attack. The classic signs and symptoms of a heart attack include crushing pressure in your chest and pain in your shoulder or arm, sometimes with shortness of breath and sweating.

Can acid reflux mimic a heart attack?

Heartburn can closely mimic a heart attack. While a heart attack is often announced by pressure or pain in the chest, that’s not always true. Says Dr. Wilson, “Atypical heart attack symptoms are especially common in women and diabetics.”

How can you tell the difference between gastric pain and heart pain?

The main difference between symptoms is that:

  • Heartburn tends to be worse after eating and when lying down, but a heart attack can happen after a meal, too.
  • Heartburn can be relieved by drugs that reduce acid levels in the stomach.
  • Heartburn does not cause more general symptoms, such as breathlessness.

Why are heart attacks misdiagnosed?

Common factors leading to heart attack misdiagnosis include: Failure to take a proper and thorough medical history. Failure to perform a thorough physical examination. Failure to consider heart attack in patients that seem healthy.

Can heart problems be missed?

Injuries resulting from missed diagnosis or non-diagnosis are usually completely avoidable. This is particularly so with heart attack patients. A heart attack, or yocardial infarction, occurs when the normal oxygen-rich blood flow to the heart is blocked.

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Can heart failure be misdiagnosed pneumonia?

Pneumonia is the second most misdiagnosed condition leading to readmission after a previous hospitalization, second only to congestive heart failure.

Cardiac cycle