Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Could Throat Pain Signal Heart Attack?

Thursday, 08 July 2010 03:47 PM

Question: I am a 62-year-old female who suffers from acid reflux and treats it daily. Lately I have been getting severe pain in my throat that moves quickly into my ears and chest. The attacks usually last about 20 minutes and happen once or twice a week. I have high blood pressure and take daily medication for that as well. I do not smoke or drink. Could this be a sign of heart attack or am I over-reacting?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

You are not over-reacting. Chest discomfort that radiates to or from your neck should always be aggressively evaluated. This evaluation must include a complete cardiac evaluation, since patients with acid reflux may also have concealed cardiac disease that may be more difficult to detect due to their reflux symptoms. I completely agree with you, especially since you are on reflux treatment and have noticed new symptoms. Bear in mind that there are several other common reasons, not necessarily cardiac, so once you exclude cardiac disease, investigate until the cause is found and the symptoms resolved.

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