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Tests Fail to Detect Women's 'Hidden' Heart Disease

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Tests Fail to Detect Women's 'Hidden' Heart Disease

Health

Tests Fail to Detect Women's 'Hidden' Heart Disease

Tests Fail to Detect Women's 'Hidden' Heart Disease

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5183596/5183597" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Many women may have a "hidden" heart disease that standard tests won't detect — which means they may receive a clean bill of health only to suffer a serious heart attack. Researchers have found fatty deposits in women's coronary arteries that do not show up as obvious blockages on angiograms.

Dr. C. Noel Bairey Merz talks about why it's so hard to detect this type of heart disease. Merz is medical director of the Women's Health Program and Preventive and Rehabilitative Cardiac Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the scientific chair of the Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) study.