Misdiagnosis of Heart Disease

There are various types of heart disease that can have a problematic diagnosis. Some types of heart disease related risk factors, such as high cholesterol and atherosclerosis, can have no early symptoms and remain undetected. Even a heart attack can sometimes be misdiagnosed (usually by the patient) as some other cause of chest pain (e.g. angina, acid reflux, etc.). Regular health check-ups can often detect early signs of heart disease that cannot be detected from symptoms.

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Undiagnosed: Heart Disease

Some people who have diabetic heart disease (DHD) may have no signs or symptoms of heart disease. This is called “silent” heart disease. Diabetes-related nerve damage that blunts heart pain may explain why symptoms aren't noticed.

Source: NHLBI (NIH)1

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Sometimes heart disease may be silent and not diagnosed until a woman experiences signs or symptoms of a heart attack, heart failure, an arrhythmia,[6] or stroke.

Source: CDC DHDSP2

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However, some women who have coronary artery disease (CAD) have no symptoms. This is called silent CAD. Silent CAD may not be diagnosed until a woman has symptoms of a heart attack, heart failure, or an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).

Source: OWH (DHHS)3

Related Misdiagnosis Issues

Complex diagnosis issues or misdiagnosis may occur with conditions such as:

Misdiagnosis Articles

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  1. Source: NHLBI (NIH): nhlbi.nih.gov/ health/ health-topics/ topics/ dhd/ signs
  2. Source: CDC DHDSP: cdc.gov/ dhdsp/ data_statistics/ fact_sheets/ fs_women_heart.htm
  3. Source: OWH (DHHS): womenshealth.gov/ heart-disease-and-stroke/ heart-disease/ heart-disease-and-women

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.