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Chest pain – a common and persistent problem
Chest pain is a common presenting complaint in patients in primary and secondary care. Serious underlying cardiovascular pathology such as coronary heart disease should be ruled out, but the cause of chest pain in primary care is most often not cardiac.1 Respiratory, gastrointestinal or musculoskeletal disorders also present with chest pain, and a significant proportion of patients do not have any identifiable underlying physical cause.2
Glombiewski and colleagues present a prospective physician-based cohort study from Germany that examined symptom persistence at 6 months, investigation and onward referral in patients with non-specific chest pain. A total of 755 patients over the age of 35 years presenting with non-specific chest pain (defined as pain localised in the area between the clavicles and lower costal margins and anterior to the posterior axillary lines) were followed up at 6 weeks …
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