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Misdiagnosis of Heart Attacks

Misdiagnosis of Heart Attacks

USA-  MI or myocardial infarction has been known to have a short-term prognosis, as it often goes unrecognized, until now the long-term outlook was unknown,  says author Dr Tushar Acharya, a cardiologist at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, US whose study investigated long-term effects. 

The study consisted of 935 participants of Iceland MI.  At the beginning of their study participants underwent  EGC (electrocardiogram) and CMR (cardiovascular magnetic resonance) and were placed into three different categories. Unrecognized MI which was most likely never caught by their routine physical exam, but recognized by CMR.  MI that had been previously noted with clinical signs which were also recognized by the CMR, and those who had never had MI but was still recognized by CMR. 

Participants were 76 years of age and 52% of them were female participants.  When they started their research 91 people known MI and 156 people who had unknown MI, followed by 688 people who had no MI at all. 

This showed that 63% of people identified with MI did note that CMR was missed during their routine physical exam.

Mortality rates were similar in patients at ten years. Both known and unknown MI 49% and 51% in that order. This was also higher with those who had no MI which was about 30%.  These rates are compared within 5 years where mortality rates went unnoticed.  It was higher than those with MI than those with no MI, but still was lower than those with no clinical signs of MI.

Those with mild clinical signs of MI showed that over time the mortality rate increased, but this was also the same for the ones who had not been diagnosed with MI, said Dr. Archarya. 

People who had unknown MI did not receive prescription medications from their health care professionals such as Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors, beta blockers, high statins, and Aspirin.  They should also be mindful of risk factors like hypertension, diabetes.  They might also need reestablishment of blood supply to the heart, says Dr. Acharya.

Dr. Acharya says people who had experienced heart attacks were also more likely to start living a much healthier lifestyle, quitting smoking, and doing some form of physical activity.

Screening everyone to identify MI using CMR will most likely be infective and cost concerning. It may not also be very practical. Considering to add CMR to the usual way of testing could increase the chances of diagnosing MI sooner, explained Dr, Acharya.

By using CMR as part of their testing would most likely improve the chances of detecting heart attacks sooner than the usual diagnostic testing done with your physician.  Treating survivors of MI with good therapeutic treatments may improve the prognosis for these patients.


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