10 percent of population unaware of their heart attack risk

On behalf of Mike Clancy

It is well known that heart attacks are a leading cause of death across the nation and will push its way to the leading cause worldwide by 2020 as was reported by The Heart Foundation. Detecting the signs of a myocardial infarction early on can make all the difference, and the opposite is also true. Is there a failure to diagnose actually occurring much earlier that is contributing to the problem of heart disease?

The American Heart Association determined that cardiovascular disease causes the death of approximately two thirds of those who have been diagnosed with diabetes. This means that out of the 25.8 million Americans that have already been diagnosed with diabetes, approximately 17.2 are at risk for suffering a fatal heart attack. Understanding this risk can help patients and doctors take the necessary steps to prevent cardiovascular disease.

What about those with diabetes that are at an increased risk and don’t know it?

A new study was recently presented at the Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Session 2014 held by the AHA that outlined this exact issue. Patient health records from 24 different hospitals were used to come to define the problem. Out of all records studied, researchers found 2,854 heart attack cases in which the patient had diabetes but had never been diagnosed.

How many people with diabetes could be affected by this issue nationwide? According to the study, 10 percent of the population could be at risk for suffering a heart attack associated with diabetes and not even know it.

The particular problem of failing to diagnose is not just imagined either. The data showed that in 69 percent of the cases determined to involve an undiagnosed diabetes patient, doctors should have discovered the disease. All it would have required was a simple test to determine a patient’s A1C level, and the doctor’s chance of discovering diabetes in a heart attack patient would have increased 17 times.

The failure to diagnose any medical condition opens the door for future complications. When damage is caused by medical malpractice of this type, an individual should discuss their options for legal relief with a Chicago personal injury attorney.

Source: Medical Daily, “Diabetes May Cause Heart Attacks When Doctors Fail To Diagnose The Disease,” Samantha Olson, June 3, 2014

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10 percent of population unaware of their heart attack risk