About 30 percent of patients admitted to hospitals for chest pains aren't having heart attacks. But because the true cause of pain often isn't pursued when a cardiac problem is ruled out, patients may still think they have heart disease.

Dr. Philip Katz, a physician at Francis Scott Key Medical Center, says in the January issue of American Health magazine that heartburn can cause a sort of burning sensation that a sufferer may think is a heart attack.Once diagnosed, heartburn can be treated with medication.

Katz said chest pain shouldn't be ignored. If they aren't suffering heart problems, patients should have their esophagus checked. The burning sensation could be due to caustic stomach acid that rises part way up the esophagus.