Misdiagnosis of Heart disease
Misdiagnosis of Heart disease
Early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease is vital to preventing serious, even life threatening complications, such as cardiac arrest and death.
A diagnosis of heart disease may be overlooked or delayed because there may be no symptoms in some forms of heart disease, such as atherosclerosis, especially in early stages. Regular medical care is the best way to detect heart disease in its earliest stage before it leads to advanced heart disease and critical complications.
Some symptoms of heart disease can be vague or similar to symptoms of many other conditions. These types of symptoms can include weakness, cough, fatigue, dizziness, backache, indigestion, sweating, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms may be attributed to other less serious conditions, such as anxiety, GERD, gallstones, muscle aches, aging, or influenza....more about Heart disease »
Diseases for which Heart disease may be an alternative diagnosis
The other diseases for which Heart disease
is listed as a possible alternative
diagnosis in their lists include:
Rare Types of Heart disease:
Heart disease: Medical Mistakes
Related medical mistakes may include:
Heart disease: Undiagnosed Conditions
Commonly undiagnosed conditions in related areas may include:
Discussion of diagnosis/misdiagnosis of Heart disease:
Some people have pain when gas is present in the intestine. When pain
is on the left side of the colon, it can be confused with heart disease.
When the pain is on the right side of the colon, it may mimic gallstones
or appendicitis. (Source: excerpt from Gas in the Digestive Tract: NIDDK)
Common Misdiagnoses and Heart disease
Heart attacks can be undiagnosed: Although the most severe symptoms of heart attack are hard to miss,
there are varying degrees of severity.
It is altogether too common for people to die from undiagnosed heart attack, or from delaying too long
to call for emergency help.
The prognosis for treatment is far better for patients treated in the early stages of a heart attack.
The most common misdiagnoses include heartburn, or other less severe causes of chest pain.
See the introduction to heart attack and the symptoms of heart attack.
Heart attacks can be overdiagnosed: Although many people die from heart attacks, there are also
many cases where people fear that they have a heart attack, but actually have something milder.
Some of the conditions which may be causes of chest pain, causing fear of a heart attack, including
an anxiety attack, heartburn, and so on.
See the causes of chest pain and the symptoms of heart attack.
Rare undiagnosed iron disorder causes various severe conditions: The rare "iron overload" disorder, hemochromatosis,
can cause a variety of symptoms and result in various severe conditions that mimic several
of the big name medical conditions.
However, since it is quite rare (about 1 in 200 to 1 in 300), it may go undiagnosed,
and indeed doctors may not even test for it.
It can damage the pancreas, causing pancreatitis, leading to diabetes-like symptoms.
It can damage the liver, leading to liver symptoms such as jaundice.
Hemochromoatis can also damage the joints, giving the appearance of arthritis.
The heart is another organ that excess iron can damage.
Fortunately, this condition has a relatively simple treatment, and these complications can
often be reversed by treatment of the iron overload causing them.
See introduction to hemochromatosis.
Rare heart condition often undiagnosed: The rare heart condition called long QT syndrome can lead to episodes of palpitations
and rapid heartbeat.
In rare cases, this undiagnosed condition can be fatal.
It should be considered for any unexplained heart rhythm abnormality.
Heart attack can be over-diagnosed: Although heart attack is often undiagnosed,
leading to fatality, it can also be over-diagnosed.
People become concerned that a condition is a heart attack,
whereas there are various less dangerous possibilities.
After all, there are numerous causes of chest pain.
Some of the common conditions where a person may become concerned
about a possible heart attack include a panic attack (which often has
both chest pain and difficulty breathing), and heartburn/reflux type conditions.
Nevertheless, chest pain itself can be a potentially life-threatening symptoms,
and needs immediate professional attention.
Alzheimer's disease over-diagnosed: The well-known disease of Alzheimer's disease
is often over-diagnosed.
Patients tend to assume that any memory loss or forgetulness symptom might be Alzheimer's,
whereas there are many other less severe possibilities.
Some level of memory decline is normal with aging,
and even a slight loss of acuity may be noticed in the 30's and 40's.
Other conditions can also lead a person to show greater forgetfulness.
For example, depression and depressive disorders can cause a person to
have reduced concentration and thereby poorer memory retention.
Dementia may be a drug interaction: A common scenario in aged care is for
a patient to show mental decline to dementia.
Whereas this can, of course, occur due to various medical conditions,
such as a stroke or Alzheimer's disease,
it can also occur from a side effect or interaction between multiple drugs
that the elderly patient may be taking.
There are also various other possible causes of dementia.
Tremor need not be Parkinson's disease: There is the tendency to believe that
any tremor symptom, or shakiness, means Parkinson's disease.
The reality is that there are various possibilities, such as benign essential tremor,
which is mostly harmless.
see the various causes of tremor and misdiagnosis of Parkinson's disease.
Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue
with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood pressure.
The "cuff" around the arm to measure blood pressure can simply be too small to accurately
test a child's blood pressure.
This can lead to an incorrect diagnosis of a child with hypertension.
The problem even has a name unofficially: "small cuff syndrome".
See misdiagnosis of hypertension.
Rare diseases misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease: A rare genetic
disorder is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease for men in their 50's.
The disease Fragile X disorder can show only mild symptoms in the early years,
and Parkinsons-like symptoms around age 50.
See misdiagnosis of Parkinson's disease.
Hypertension misdiagnosis common in children: Hypertension is often
misdiagnosed in adults (see misdiagnosis of hypertension), but its misdiagnosis is even more likely in children.
Some of the symptoms of hypertension that can be overlooked include chest pain, headaches, abdominal pain, etc.
See symptoms of hypertension or misdiagnosis of hypertension.
Heart disease: Rare Types
Rare types of medical disorders and diseases in related medical areas:
Medical news summaries about misdiagnosis of Heart disease:
The following medical news items
are relevant to misdiagnosis of Heart disease:
Misdiagnosis and Heart disease deaths
Heart disease is a condition
that can possibly be deadly if misdiagnosed...more »
General Misdiagnosis Articles
Read these general articles with an overview of misdiagnosis issues.
When checking for a misdiagnosis of Heart disease
or confirming a diagnosis of Heart disease,
it is useful to consider what other
medical conditions might be possible misdiagnoses or other alternative
conditions relevant to diagnosis.
These alternate diagnoses of Heart disease may already have
been considered by your doctor or may need to be considered as possible
alternative diagnoses or candidates for misdiagnosis of Heart disease.
For a general overview of misdiagnosis issues for all diseases,
see Overview of Misdiagnosis.
» Next page: Undiagnosed Heart disease
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