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“Chest Pain Should Be Taken Seriously”

Heart disease is your greatest health threat and is a greater danger than breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. According to the American Heart Association, more than 15 million people have heart disease and it is the leading cause of death in the United States. Most people experience chest pain at some point, but how do you know if it is a heart attack or simply heartburn or anxiety? The discomfort could be caused by other urgent conditions, as well as less serious issues that may point to a chronic medical problem. When it comes to chest pain the usual suspects include coronary artery blockages, high blood pressure, and heart valve or rhythm disorders. But there are plenty of other potential suspects. In the United States, nearly 6% of emergency room patients report chest pain. More than half of those cases involve non-cardiac chest pain, or NCCP, that is caused by heartburn, anxiety or other issues. A staggering 80% of patients who complain of chest pain during primary care visits are simply experiencing NCCP. But, the National Institutes of Health estimates that as many as 25% of emergency room patients with chest pain have acute coronary syndrome (ACS), a condition that reduces blood flow to the heart.

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