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Misdiagnosis of High Cholesterol

Misdiagnosis of High Cholesterol

Prompt diagnosis and treatment of high cholesterol is vital to preventing serious, even life threatening complications, such as atherosclerosis, heart disease, blood clots, hypertension, myocardial infarction and stroke.

A diagnosis of high cholesterol may be overlooked or delayed because there are no symptoms. Regular medical care, including physical examinations and cholesterol screening tests, is the best way to detect high cholesterol in its earliest stage before it leads to complications....more about High Cholesterol »

Diseases for which High Cholesterol may be an alternative diagnosis

The other diseases for which High Cholesterol is listed as a possible alternative diagnosis in their lists include:

High Cholesterol: Hidden Causes Misdiagnosed?

Causes of High Cholesterol may include these medical conditions:

Rare Types of High Cholesterol:

High Cholesterol: Medical Mistakes

Related medical mistakes may include:

High Cholesterol: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed conditions in related areas may include:

Common Misdiagnoses and High Cholesterol

Metabolic syndrome often undiagnosed: Metabolic syndrome, also known as Syndrome X, is an often overlooked medical condition that causes a cluster of chronic symptoms. There are often four symptoms and conditions combined: obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, and diabetes (Type 2 diabetes) or in come cases pre-diabetes initially. See the introduction to metabolic syndrome.

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.

Unnecessary hysterectomies due to undiagnosed bleeding disorder in women: The bleeding disorder called Von Willebrand's disease is quite common in women, but often fails to be correctly diagnosed. Women with the condition tend to have heavy periods, since they actually have a bleeding disorder. Severe afflictions may result in the women receiving a hysterectomy unnecessarily, when the underlying cause has not been identified. See the introduction to Von Willebrand's disease and bleeding disorder.

Undiagnosed causes of weight gain and obesity: Although obesity may be related to lifestyle issues, there are also a number of medical causes of weight gain or obesity that may go undiagnosed. Some of the various possibilities include thyroid disorders (i.e. hypothyroidism), polycystic ovarian syndrome (i.e. PCOS), and various other causes of weight gain. Metabolic syndrome with its related diabetes (Type 2 diabetes) is also a consideration, although possibly less helpful in terms of treatment. See also misdiagnosis of obesity or causes of weight gain.

High Cholesterol: Rare Types

Rare types of medical disorders and diseases in related medical areas:

Failure To Diagnose High Cholesterol

Failure to diagnose High Cholesterol may be associated with the following:

  • Undiagnosed high cholesterol can result in an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis and death
  • Undiagnosed high cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis
  • Research indicates that high cholesterol may cause premature delivery
  • Undiagnosed cholesterol can lead to cholesterol deposits in tendons (tendon xanthomas) and skin (xanthelasma), white corneal ring (arcus senilis), enlarged liver, enlarged spleen, pancreatitis, chest pain and heart attack
  • Some women develop coronary microvascular syndrome where plaque accumulates evenly inside small heart arteries rather than in clumps. This means that regular tests fail to detect the buildup of plaque and the women remain untreated and at a high risk of heart attack
  • Studies show that a significant portion of male suffering from erectile dysfunction also have undiagnosed high cholesterol

Notes On Hidden Causes Of High Cholesterol

The following may be hidden causes of High Cholesterol:

  • Some people are genetically predisposed to the risk of high cholesterol
  • A diet high in fat can cause high cholesterol
  • High cholesterol can also be caused by liver disease, nephritic syndrome, uncontrolled diabetes, hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome, insulin resistance, kidney failure, lupus, multiple myeloma, lymphoma, Cushing's syndrome and familial hyperlipidemia
  • Pregnancy can cause high cholesterol measurements and thus testing should be done at least 6 weeks after delivery

Other Notes On Misdiagnosis Of High Cholesterol

  • High cholesterol on its own is not always a great health concern but when it is combined with other heart disease factors then the health risks become dramatically higher. The more heart disease factors involved, the greater the health risks. Heart disease factors include: obesity, family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, lack of exercise, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, high fat diet and smoking. Males over 45 years or a female over 55 years also face an increased risk. Females who suffer premature menopause but don't have estrogen replacement therapy also face a greater risk. Preliminary studies indicate that high levels of an amino acid called homocysteine also increase the risk of heart disease
  • Certain drugs can increase total cholesterol measurements: ACTH, anabolic steroids, Vitamin D, thiazide diuretics, phenytoin, sulfonamides, epinephrine, corticosteroids, contraceptives and beta-adrenergic blocking agents
  • Certain drugs can lower total cholesterol measurements: nitrates, niacin, statins, neomycin, MAO inhibitors, isoniazid, fibrates, erythromycin, chlorpropamide, colchicines, captopril, androgens, allopurinol and colestipol
  • High cholesterol may be associated with certain conditions: primary biliary cirrhosis, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, familial hypercholesterolemia, familial dysbetalipoproteinemia, arteriosclerosis of the extremities, primary hypothyroidism and secondary hypothyroidism
  • Cholesterol levels are measured using blood tests. Risks involved with blood tests are rare but can include: infection, excessive bleeding, fainting, light-headedness, accumulation of blood under the skin
  • Cholesterol testing should be done at least every five years after the age of 20
  • Cholesterol measurements can fluctuate by up to 10% between months and this is considered a normal variation. Thus, usually more than one cholesterol measurement is required to determine whether there is a problem
  • Cholesterol measurements tend to be higher in winter than summer, probably due to the fact that people tend to be less active in winter
  • Classification of cholesterol severity:
  • LDL cholesterol measurements:
  • Ideal level: < 100mg/dL
  • Acceptable: 100-129mg/dL
  • Borderline high: 130-159mg/dL
  • High: 160-189mg/dL
  • Very high: >190mg/dL
  • HDL cholesterol measurements:
  • Low: < 40mg/dL - increased risk of heart disease
  • High: >60mg/dL - reduced risk of heart disease
  • Triglycerides:
  • >200mg/dL increases the risk of heart disease
  • People with high cholesterol levels are more likely to suffer severe cases of human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA). HGA is a bacterial disease transmitted through tick bites and resulting in flu-like symptoms

Medical news summaries about misdiagnosis of High Cholesterol:

The following medical news items are relevant to misdiagnosis of High Cholesterol:

General Misdiagnosis Articles

Read these general articles with an overview of misdiagnosis issues.

About misdiagnosis:

When checking for a misdiagnosis of High Cholesterol or confirming a diagnosis of High Cholesterol, it is useful to consider what other medical conditions might be possible misdiagnoses or other alternative conditions relevant to diagnosis. These alternate diagnoses of High Cholesterol may already have been considered by your doctor or may need to be considered as possible alternative diagnoses or candidates for misdiagnosis of High Cholesterol. For a general overview of misdiagnosis issues for all diseases, see Overview of Misdiagnosis.


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