Submitted by Dr T on January 6, 2013 – 12:47pm
You misread the article: These patients were indeed supposedly healthy but had previously undiagnosed coronary artery disease (CAD) secondary to atherosclerosis. In someone who is otherwise healthy and w/o symptoms the diagnosis may be difficult to make, especially if not seen by a doctor. However, it is unlikely that besides cholesterol, appropriate testing for heart disease would not have demonstrated CAD in all these patients, but it requires a suspicious patient & doctor, a careful history and an examination! The first patient in the story had symptoms, but did not recognise his “indigestion” for what it was: a heart attack in progress.
I have written about CAD in young patients before. It happens, but not without mostly preventable risk factors! This is what you can do. To see if you are at risk, check this cardiac risk assesment link.
Hope this helps,