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Fainting in Healthy People May Be First Sign of Heart Trouble
Date:12/12/2012

r disease. See your doctor if you faint."

Experts identified some limitations of the study. Steinbaum said the study design did not reveal what kind of workups patients got after they fainted and what factors may or may not have been identified.

Dr. Robert Sheldon, a professor of cardiac sciences at the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, at the University of Calgary in Canada, wrote in an accompanying editorial that the study highlights some of the downsides of using administrative data rather than information gleaned from direct patient assessment.

Sheldon noted that the study authors knew nothing about the diagnosis of the patients in the study, their cause of death or how those who were healthy and fainted directly compared to others who fainted but had a known disease or health problem.

While the study found an association between fainting in otherwise healthy people and future heart complications, it did not establish cause-and-effect.

More information

To learn more about fainting, see the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Martin Ruwald, M.D., postdoctoral research fellow, heart research follow-up program, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.; Suzanne Steinbaum, M.D., preventive cardiologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Robert Sheldon, M.D., Ph.D., professor, cardiac sciences, Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, University of Calgary, Canada; Dec. 12, 2012, Journal of the American College of Cardiology


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