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Anxiety could mask heart disease symptoms in some women

New York women may be interested to learn that females who suffer from an anxiety disorder may have reduced blood flow to the heart during exercise, according to a study. This could cause doctors to miss the signs of heart disease in some female patients.

In the study, which was published on Feb. 23 in the online journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, researchers reviewed the medical results of over 2,300 patients, 760 of them women, who were given a psychiatric interview and an exercise stress test. The stress test looked for signs of ischemia, or decreased blood flow, which can be associated with reduced oxygen to the heart. It also examined the effects of anxiety and gender on ischemia.

Researchers found that, of women who had not previously been diagnosed with heart disease, those with anxiety disorders were 75 percent more likely to have ischemia than women with no anxiety issues. According to the authors of the study, this could lead doctors to miss heart disease symptoms in some women, and wrongly attribute the signs to anxiety. Women can display different heart attack symptoms than men, including sharp or burning chest pain and jaw, neck, throat, back and abdominal pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for American women.

New York residents who are the victims of a misdiagnosis may see their conditions worsen until a proper diagnosis has been made. Those who have found themselves in such a position may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney in order to learn about the remedies that may be available.

Source: Medical Xpress, "Anxiety in women may mask heart disease symptoms, researchers say," Maureen Salamon, Feb. 23, 2016

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