Early warning signs might have been missed in one in six heart attack deaths in England

Research has been published today in The Lancet Public Health from Centre researchers Majid Ezzati, Paul Elliott, Margaret Douglass and Perviz Asaria. The study has suggested that doctors could be missing warning signs of heart attacks in up to one in six fatal cases. The researchers indicated that doctors could be missing “subtle signs” of illness such as fainting and shortness of breath, which could lead to an increased risk of suffering a heart attack. The study analysed almost 450,000 hospital stays record which involved heart attacks between 2006 and 2010, and the history of all 135,950 heart attack deaths in England during the same period. It was found that one in six fatal heart attack victims were admitted to hospital up to four weeks before their death, but no symptoms of heart attack were made in their hospital records. Lead scientist Dr Perviz Asaria from the School of Public Health at Imperial College said, “Doctors are very good at treating heart attacks when they are the main cause of admission, but we don’t do very well treating secondary heart attacks or at picking up subtle signs which might point to a heart attack death in the near future.”

The full article can be accessed here.

The research has been featured in many news outlets, including the BBC Website, the Daily Telegraph, the Sun and the Daily Mail.

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