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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Genetic heart conditions may be misdiagnosed - survey

Wednesday July 5th, 2017

Inherited heart conditions have often been misdiagnosed as a range of other common condition, according to a survey of patients.

The British Heart Foundation says that patients often have non-specific symptoms such as a racing heart or palpitations - and these end up being diagnosed as stress, anxiety or even asthma.

This means that many of the 620,000 people in the UK with an inherited heart condition, such as cardiomyopathy or heart rhythm disturbance remain undiagnosed, it says.

Today it called for clinicians to be aware of the signs of these conditions.

The BHF conducted an online survey earlier this year of 370 people living with an inherited heart condition. Among those who had symptoms, 60% were initially diagnosed with other conditions, delaying the correct diagnosis and initiation of preventative treatment.

The heart condition was misdiagnosed as stress or anxiety in 23%, asthma in 7%, and epilepsy in 5%. Proper diagnosis took more than two years for 54%.

Dr Mike Knapton, of the British Heart Foundation, said: "Inherited heart conditions can be silent killers. This means that early diagnosis is essential so people can be put on the right treatment and live a normal life.

"These results show that it can be extremely difficult to correctly diagnose people, meaning it's vital that we raise awareness about the symptoms and diagnostic tests for those most at risk of inherited heart conditions.

"We urgently need to fund more research to identify the faulty genes responsible for these conditions and find new ways to treat people with inherited heart disease."

Tags: Heart Health | NHS | UK News

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