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Is my child's chest pain likely to be caused by a heart condition?

If your child is experiencing chest pain, it is only natural to be worried about your child’s heart health. Fortunately, chest pain in children is rarely due to a heart condition, unlike in adults. More than 95 percent of children who have chest pain will not have anything wrong with their heart. Unfortunately, chest pain in children can be frustrating because it is very common for it to recur, and often a specific reason may not be able to be diagnosed and therefore specifically treated. Diagnosable causes of chest pain in children that are unrelated to the heart include, for example, irritated chest muscles, asthma, gastrointestinal reflux (heartburn), or anxiety.
A detailed patient history with complete review of all of the major body systems by your pediatrician or a pediatric cardiologist is the most useful part of the evaluation of chest pain in children. Currently, there are no tests that are consistently useful in diagnosing the cause of chest pain in children, though tests can be helpful if, for example, an abnormal heart rhythm or specific form of heart disease is suspected.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.