I would think that the doctor would take the 80 year old more seriously because a 20 year old doesn't suffer from Coronary Artery Disease so would be less likely to have a heart attack right then and there. The 20 year old's age is on his side. If the 20 year old had Congenital heart Disease then I would think it would be dependent on the symptoms as well as how the patient presented that would be the determining factor. Interesting question you posed; did this happen to you?
Almost all medical decisions and diagnoses are based on statistical probability weighing all factors related to the individual's medical condition. Age is a factor that weighs heavily for any medical diagnosis and other risk factors can be minimum.
A younger individual can have the same chest pain, but other heart-related risk factors would be carefully considered before going forward with further testing, etc. The doctor needs justify his/her decision to the insurance company, other medical personnel, hospital, and if honest and competent to self.
Young people from teenager to middle twenties sometimes have heart awareness and rapid heartbeat. In young people, there is more adrenaline that affects the heart (not harmful). An 80 year old having chest pains could mean heart disease or valve disease or cardiomyopathy. Swelling in ankles, legs, abdomen, fluid in lungs are signs of heart failure. Doctors are now recommending that if there is a family history to have 8 year old childrens cholesterol checked. Children can be plugged up. My male cousin was plugged up at the age of 10. His parents thought he was lazy because he was sleeping all the time during the daytime. It turned out that he had heart disease (coronary artery heart disease). If you feel that something is wrong with your heart, you should ask your doctor about having an echocardiogram. My daughter had one at the age of I believe 7. She had an echo of her heart and neck at the children's hospital. Her only symptom was extreme rapid heartbeat that made it hard for her to breathe at times. Her echo was normal. It was the adrenaline issue that so many young people have. My grandmother is 92 and the doctors did not want to do too much for her. Her son had a serious talk with her doctors, and now she has physical therapy and chiropractor coming out to her home to give her therapy. She also has some testing and appointments as outpatient setup. She has mild CHF and mild kidney dysfunction with anemia. She has two knee replacements that became out of alignment due to a fall along with her hips.
thanks for responses,
yes i had did have this happen, i had to go to my doctor a number of times before i had an echo done which showed my heart was indeed ok, however i had to visit him numerous times before anything was done mainly due to my age, but there have been numerous high profile cases in my country ireland, were young people with chest discomfort went to doctors who listened to the heart with stetoscope and took blood pressure only to be given the 'all clear' and then dropped dead the following week from cardiac arrest playing soccer with friends or at school, with a heart abnormality discovered during autopsy....bit late.,,although i acknowledge it is quite rare it can still happen to young people.. ther is also another interesting case concerning young person with heart tumour.. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/humber/7946315.stm
You have to understand that these young people have a cardiomyopathy problem such as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. This form of cardiomyopathy can cause a sudden death event in about 2% on the population due to ventricular arrhythmias. It is the most common form of cardiomyopathy found in young people at autopsy.Had these young people been seen by a physician, the physician would, more that likely, have known the disease was there due to the type of rare murmur that this type of cardiomyopathy produces. These young people would have never been allowed to play any kind of sports in the first place. It is not as uncommon as people think for a person to see a doctor, get a clean bill of health, walk out of the doctor's office and drop dead. The arrhythmias that cause sudden death happen all of the time and unless the person has an EP Study done (an electrical study of the heart) no doctor would know the patient was prone to this type of deadly arrhythmia. In many cases, the sudden death event is the first indication something was wrong. On a side note, we were living in the British Isles when my daughter's doctors discovered this disease in my daughter. We were sent to Great Ormond Street and were told other than W-P-W she was fine: no cardiomyopathy. (of course her heart walls were as thick as a grown man's, even though she was only 6 years old) I even have this in writing. My daughter's HCM continued on to be one of the worse cases seen here in the US and she finally was transplanted. So, having seen you live in Ireland, you have to question???
sorry, i don't really understand the last sentence of your paragraph.........