How can I be sure I have CHD?
Evidence That You Have CHD Although you can have coronary heart disease without knowing it, answering yes to any of the following questions is a fair indicator that you may have CHD.
- Have you had a heart attack?
- Have you experienced chest pain that has been diagnosed as angina?
- Have you had heart bypass surgery or coronary angioplasty, sometimes called balloon angioplasty, or a stent?
- Have you had angiography - a procedure to take a special X-ray of the heart - that showed blockage of any of your coronary arteries?
It isn't always easy to determine whether you have heart disease. CHD may produce no symptoms before you have a heart attack or even die due to sudden cardiac death. Even if you have warning signs that something is wrong, a number of conditions other than CHD can cause the same symptoms. For instance, chest pain that feels like angina may be heartburn, a pulled muscle, or another problem unrelated to your heart. Only a thorough evaluation by your doctor can lead to the right diagnosis and treatment.
Unfortunately, there is no simple single test for CHD. Your doctor will want to do the following:
- identify if you have CHD by examination and testing
- if CHD is present, determine its extent and severity
- if no CHD appears to be present, determine another cause for your symptoms
Your doctor will have to piece together a picture of what's happening, based on:
- your symptoms
- your personal and family medical history
- a physical exam
- diagnostic tests
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