Your Health: Apr. 1, 2002

HEART MONITOR You may be surprised to learn that if you rush to the emergency room with shortness of breath, there is a 40% chance that the doctors won't be able to tell if it's your heart, your lungs or something else that's failing. That may change, thanks to a study of 1,500 patients conducted at the San Diego Veterans Administration. Doctors showed that measuring levels of a particular heart hormone, BNP, could improve by 75% doctors' chances of accurately diagnosing heart failure in patients with difficulty breathing. The BNP test, which costs $20, is used in about 10% of U.S....

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