Sunday, June 28, 2009

Interesting WSJ Article on what my Father called "You die when your plumping fails..."

The 'Rare' Disease That Isn't
Often Undiagnosed, FMD May Afflict Up to 5% of Americans
It took an autopsy to determine why 10-year-old Haley McWhorter didn't wake up one morning last May. While asleep, Haley went into cardiac arrest, stopped breathing and never started again, concluded the medical examiner in Ft. Myers, Fla. The examiner found that a thickened artery wall had blocked blood flow to Haley's heart. The odd growth of the artery wall suggested the presence of a disease called FMD, or fibromuscular dysplasia, the examiner concluded.

FMD, a condition in which artery walls expand into and obstruct the arterial channel, is largely unknown to the public and even to the majority of doctors. When discussed in medical schools -- if discussed at all -- FMD is typically described as an obscure and rare disease.

Yet a tantalizing body of evidence has begun to emerge that suggests FMD isn't rare at all: It simply isn't looked for, so it is seldom diagnosed.

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