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Medicine

Chest pain linked to survival from heart attack

August 16, 2004|William Hathaway | Hartford Courant

People who experience little or no chest pain during a heart attack are more likely to die from the attack, according to a study published last week in the journal Chest.

A group of international researchers studied heart attack data from more than 20,000 patients in 14 countries, including the United States. Of the 1,763 cardiac patients who did not experience chest pain, 13% died in the hospital, compared with 4.3% of those who experienced chest pain.

"While the majority of people who have acute coronary syndromes, such as heart attacks and unstable angina, feel chest pain, some do not but, instead, may experience symptoms of fainting, shortness of breath, excessive sweating or nausea and vomiting," said David Briegger, lead author of the study from Concord Hospital in Sydney, Australia.

Briegger said that patients without chest pain do not receive appropriate treatment until blood and other tests alert doctors to the severity of the problem.

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