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Heart Health

Doctors can confuse heartburn and heart disease, even in themselves

September 16, 2011
  • By Christine Junge, Contributor

About the Author

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Christine Junge, Contributor

Christine Junge is a former editor at Harvard Health Publishing. See Full Bio
View all posts by Christine Junge


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Tracy Adriana
January 18, 2012

I’ve experienced symptoms of heartburn before, but didn’t realize that it could be so serious. This article was a real eye opener for me.

To those of you out there who think you may suffer from heartburn, please do check up and see if you are suffering from any of the common symptoms of heartburn and consult a medical professional early if you do.

November 27, 2011

Thanks for important info for patients and doctors. One of the factors in heart disease is that they suffer from hyperventilation, and this also exacerbates problems with stomach acidity and work of GI valves.

Richard Heart
October 1, 2011

I get scared straight to the vegetable isle and gym reading these heart health articles!

Carolyn Thomas
September 28, 2011

I think it’s fantastic that this patient received such good care in such a timely fashion. Being “able to catch the problem before a heart attack injures the heart muscle” can make all the difference.

It likely also makes a big difference if you happen to be:
1. a Harvard doctor with instant access to colleagues offering world-class care
2. financially comfortable so you have the means to pay for whatever needs doing, and
3. a male

Here’s what can happen to those who don’t make it into that Top 3 list: research on cardiac misdiagnoses reported in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at more than 10,000 patients (48% women) who went to their hospital Emergency Departments with chest pain or other heart attack symptoms. Women younger than 55 were SEVEN TIMES more likely to be misdiagnosed than men of the same age. The consequences of this were enormous: being sent away from the hospital doubled their chances of dying.

And if a Harvard doctor is confused about the difference between heartburn and cardiac event, try being a woman in mid-heart attack. The AHA has a brilliant 30-minute film called “Just A Little Heart Attack” meant to convince women to call 911 immediately for cardiac symptoms:

September 19, 2011

Admire the information published.its really informative and innovative keep us posted with new updates. it was really valuable.
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