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Avatar universal

Signs and Symptoms of Heart Disease

I had read in a health magazine that signs and symptoms of a pending heart attack can be present for as early as two years prior to the actual event, especially in women. If this is a fact, then women with symptoms of lightheadedness, dizziness, intermittent back, arm pain etc. that are examined, and given stress tests, scans etc. could still be at a greater risk in the future if these test are borderline or false negatives. When should a cardiac cath. be considered if intermittent symptoms persist in a female? Is there a greater percentage overall of men under going caths. sooner than women presenting with the same complaints? Thanks for any input you may have.

10 Responses
Avatar universal

Thanks for the post.

Q:"When should a cardiac cath. be considered if intermittent symptoms persist in a female?"

Great Question.  The unfortunate answer is that the correct timing is a judgement call, and the judgement depends both on patient and doctor factors.  I tend to offer caths earlier to those persons who are very anxious/concerned about the possibility of heart disease.  Other doctors take a more structured/rigid approach.

Q:"Is there a greater percentage overall of men under going caths. sooner than women presenting with the same complaints?"

The NEJM reported recently that white patients tend to receive caths earlier in the course of symptoms than do black patients.  I am not familiar with a study showing the same for men vs women.  I suspect that in the past women tended to receive caths later than men, but that this practice is dying out.  I certainly don't make women wait longer than men, and neither do my contemporaries at the Cleveland Clinic.

Hope that helps.
Avatar universal
I am an African American female and it would have done my heart good if you had stated that you and your contemporaries at CCF never delay ordering heart caths for women and African Americans.  You stated definitively that the practice is dying out when it comes to women, but no comment regarding African Americans...
Avatar universal

Neither I, nor any of my contemporaries at the CCF, practice racially biased medicine.

Any insinuation otherwise is ill-stated.

Avatar universal
Too bad but you are apparently the type of person who seeks to find racial prejudice in everything.how you read that into the Doc's informative comments is beyond me .
Avatar universal
You need to knock that chip off your shoulder girlfriend.  You should feel lucky to have this doctor give you a free medical opion without looking for something racial in it.
21064 tn?1309308733
HURRAY!!  What a fabulous story!  I am so happy to hear of your continuing success!!  Kudos to you for your bravery and your perseverence!!

I join you in thanking these two very caring and helpful doctors!  They are most gracious to contribute to this forum!

Keep up the great work!

Avatar universal
Did you have a repair done or a replacement?  Its great reports like that that make me feel better.  My mitral valve has to be monitored and I am afraid of getting it replaced.  However when you hear a great story like that it gives you some hope........Stephanie
21064 tn?1309308733

OMYGOSH!!  I can hear the success in your words!  You "sound" fantastic! I diligently followed your posts since I have similar condition.  I do not have an ICD (whew!), but did have ablations to reduce the number of my pvcs.  Don't know if you remember, but they were causing cardiomyopathy...Things have improved and my 40% EF was up to 55% four months after the second procedure.  I can definitely relate to a feeling of "renewed" energy!! What a difference!!!  

I don't think you could even imagine how inspiring your words have been!  Reading your post which is so full of energy and life is like therapy to me!!! My MV has been leaky since my late teens (that I know of) and it is classified as 2 - 3+.  Dr. says surgery is probable because I have had it so long...I must tell you after reading your story, I am truly calmed. It would be WONDERFUL to walk, talk and breathe at the SAME time!! Although it has improved, I still get winded when I walk and talk.  

Have you been to www.valverepair.com?  I believe there are a number of runners on that board who have had valve surgery. They are a fabulous group of people who help each other pre and post surgery. Check it out!  Your story is so positive...You could help a lot of people who are in the "waiting room" for surgery. When you have a minute, stop by VR.com.  I KNOW your story could be so therapeutic to others.  

Again, thanks for sharing!! If/when surgery becomes necessary, I will remember your story and forge ahead with much less fear.

Avatar universal
I think we need racial (more accurately, genetically which is more accurate) based medicine because it seems that blacks respond differently to medicine than whites.

When we do trials, it is often that we use males or mixed people. It is unfortunate because if you mix racial people, the actual effective treatment can be diluted just because a certain population may not respond well to treatment and screw the results. So, for now, I support the idea of using white males, white females, black males, black females, etc separately for now until we know all about genetic differences across races and genders.

Avatar universal
I would like to apologize for any misunderstanding my comments have caused.  I would like to make it clear that I have a great deal of respect for the doctors who so generously give of their time and expertise on this forum.  I have no personal experience with them, therefore I would not and could not accuse them of practicing racially biased medicine.  Many of you seemed to judge me harshly for my comments. I say to you that time after time, study after study and my own personal experience have proven that it is racism is alive and well in medicine.  If you are fortunate enough to be able to visit a doctor and have confidence that he/she will treat you to the best of their ability then count yourself lucky.  I personally have gone through an unnecessary abdominal surgery that lead to another abdominal surgery. My sister is dealing with breast cancer that grew to 6cm before being diagnosed despite yearly mammograms. My father died from lung cancer and prostate cancer that went undiagnosed for years because of his doctor's reluctance to take his symptoms seriously and order the proper tests.  If any of you had such an array of bad experiences with the medical profession, you would be just as jaded as I am.  That is one of the reasons forums like this are so important.  I feel so much more empowered and not nearly so vulnerable when I can get expert opinions and advice that point me in the right direction.  Once again, a thousand pardons.  I really didn't mean to bite the hand that feeds me.
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