Women suffering heart attacks more likely to be misdiagnosed

Woman in hospital coat holding a blue paper heart with question mark

We tend to think that people who suffer heart attacks are middle aged, overweight men, but it’s something that can happen to anyone. In many cases, the symptoms of a heart attack remain unrecognized and study shows that 30% of people were misdiagnosed, of which most were women.

Researchers from the University of Leeds studied 600,000 heart attack patients over nine years, revealing the abovementioned worrying number. It seems that the source of this problem is the lack of education and awareness among the public, but also among doctors. Women don’t recognize they are having a heart attack and go to their GP instead of A&E directly, resulting in a late diagnosis. Heart attack A heart attack occurs when the oxygen-rich blood flow to our heart muscle gets blocked or severely reduced, and strikes someone every 43 seconds. Symptoms can vary, but common signs are tightness, pain or a burning Read more

What do patients really want?

a doctor taking a patient’s blood pressure

We are, more than ever before, a society which goes to great lengths to take care of our bodies. We’re reading more food labels, taking time for the gym, doing yoga and meditation to “connect” with our inner selves…yet when it comes to our own medical treatment decisions, we are surprisingly out of touch.

The body blind spot When we are diagnosed with a medical condition, even a minor one, we are often so concerned with getting better that we develop a treatment blind spot, failing to consider the following: Is the proposed treatment my only option? Why has it been proposed? What are the advantages and disadvantages of all my treatment options? How will the side effects of this treatment affect my quality of life? What implications does my treatment have, beyond recovery? What is the evidence that my treatment has been effective in similar conditions to mine? If I chose to do nothing at all, how would my condition Read more

ADHD and the difficulty in making a correct diagnosis

The so-called ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is increasingly diagnosed in more children (who are treated with drugs) in Western societies.

Since the turn of the century, the number of children diagnosed with ADHD has risen by 40%. The figures in the U.S., for instance, are very representative: 11% of children are diagnosed with ADHD, while 4 out of every 100 adults are affected. This happens to be the most common mental illness in the UK as well.

But the real question remains: Is there really such a thing as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? For Dr. Richard Saul Chicago, the answer is a resounding no. According to the recent and controversial book by Dr. Saul, “ADHD Does Not Exist,” he argues that there is not a single individual in the world affected by this disorder. The supposed symptoms of ADHD manifest themselves through, for example, the inability to pay attention and sit still in a chair – typical behaviour of millions of students around the globe. ADHD has also been associated with a number of behavioural patterns: excessive talking, low tolerance Read more