Chest pain can actually happen due to a slew of causes, including quite a few that aren’t too hard to treat - Korin Miller
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Remember the 1970’s television show Sanford and Son? Comedian Redd Foxx played a father who was known for clasping one hand on his heart, throwing the other in the air, and declaring the end whenever he had chest pain—which was pretty much every episode.
Many people think the same thing: Chest pain automatically means heart attack. But that’s not necessarily true.
“When people have pain in their chest, we obviously are concerned about the heart because this generally requires more urgent care. We like to rule that out first,” says Neel Chokshi, MD, MBA, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Penn Medicine. “But there are many, many other reasons to have pain in the…
Remember the 1970’s television show Sanford and Son? Comedian Redd Foxx played a father who was known for clasping one hand on his heart, throwing the other in the air, and declaring the end whenever he had chest pain—which was pretty much every episode. Many people think the same thing: Chest pain automatically means heart attack. But that’s not necessarily true.
Chest pain is a common presentation in general practice. Each year about 1% of the UK population visit their GP with chest pain. The average GP will see, on average, four new cases of angina each year. The Euro heart survey of newly diagnosed stable angina patients showed that the incidence of death and myocardial infarction (MI) was 2.3/100 patient-years. This is increased in patients with a previous MI, short history, more severe symptoms and with heart failure or other co-morbidities, such as diabetes.
The cause of chest pain in outpatients may vary from life-threatening conditions to those that are relatively harmless. The most common causes of chest pain are musculoskeletal (30-50%) and gastrointestinal conditions (10-20%).
It’s 2 AM and you wake up with chest pain, aka angina. What should you do? Maybe it’s just indigestion, but maybe it’s a heart attack. How do you know what to do?
The truth is, it's not easy to tell what's behind your chest pain and whether the cause is life-threatening or just a nuisance.
Admitting people to hospital who don’t need to be admitted not only takes up valuable staffing and hospital resources that could be assigned to real heart patients in need, but also costs the health care system billions of dollars each year. As you can imagine, this is a real dilemma for the medical profession.
Chest pain can make it feel like your body has pressed a panic button, especially when it seemingly strikes out of nowhere. Here’s the good news: Chest pain can actually happen due to a slew of causes, including quite a few that aren’t too hard to treat. (Translation: Don’t just resign yourself to having a heart attack, because that’s absolutely not the only possibility here.)
For women living with heart disease, from the unique perspective of CAROLYN THOMAS, a Mayo Clinic-trained women's health advocate, heart attack survivor, blogger, author, speaker here on the west coast of Canada
You can probably recite the classic heart attack symptoms, i.e., chest pain radiating down the left arm, crushing sensation, shortness of breath, sweating. That's absolutely correct, if you're a man! Unfortunately, researchers have only recently discovered that women's heart attack symptoms are often very different from those classic symptoms that we've all heard about for years...
Many problems can cause symptoms in the chest area, such as discomfort, shortness of breath or pain with swallowing.
Chest pain comes in many varieties, ranging from a sharp stab to a dull ache. Some types of chest pain can be described as crushing or burning. In certain cases, the pain travels up the neck, pierces through to the back or radiates down one or both arms. Many different types of problems can cause chest pain. The most life-threatening ones involve the heart or lungs. Because it can be difficult to determine what exactly is causing chest pain, it's best to seek immediate medical help.
Although chest pain can be a symptom of many different conditions, it should always be taken seriously because it could be a sign of a heart attack.
Cardiac disease accounts for only 8-18% of all cases of chest pain and the majority of chest pain seen in primary care is due to more benign conditions, eg gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), muscle sprains, panic disorder or shingles. -GORD is the most common cause of non-cardiac chest pain. One study found that 8% of those diagnosed clinically within primary care had a diagnosis of ischaemic heart disease, 83% were excluded as cardiac-based and in 9% there was diagnostic uncertainty. About 17% were referred for further assessment.
Chest pain generally originates from one of the organs in the chest (heart, lung, or esophagus) or from the components of the chest wall (skin, muscle or bone). Occasionally, organs close to the chest, such as the gall bladder or stomach, may cause chest pain. Pain in the chest may also be the result of neck pain that is referred to the chest, called referred pain.
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