Tag Archives: cardiovascular disease diagnosis

What kind of heart attacks do young women have?

11 Oct

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

In your average garden-variety textbook heart attack, the cause is typically a sudden lack of oxygenated blood supply feeding the heart muscle, caused by a significant blockage in one of your coronary arteries. This blockage is what doctors call the culprit lesion.

But in a new study led by Yale University cardiologist Dr. Erica Spatz, researchers remind us that although this “culprit lesion” classification of heart attack applies to about 95% of men under age 55, only 82.5% of younger women experience this kind of heart attack.(1)    Continue reading

Cheap, quick bedside tests better than MRI in diagnosing strokes?

19 Oct

eye test

by Carolyn Thomas

Do you remember as little kids when we liked to spin round and round very fast so that when we stopped, we’d stagger around in a state of delicious dizziness?  As adults, though, feeling dizzy is not fun.  In fact, dizziness is responsible for millions of visits to hospital emergency departments each year.  While most cases are likely caused by benign inner-ear balance problems, about 4% are signals of cardiovascular disease such as stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA – a condition that often warns of impending stroke in the coming days or weeks).

About half of these dizzy patients who are experiencing strokes show none of the classic stroke symptoms like one-sided weakness, numbness or speech problems.  In fact, some estimates put the number of misdiagnoses as high as one-third, losing the chance for quick and effective stroke treatment.

Just as the rule for getting immediate help during a heart attack is: Time is muscle” – in stroke circles, doctors say: “Time is brain”.   Continue reading