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corinary artery disease
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blessedpat posted:
I just had a heart cath and was told that I have corinary heart disease. I have 10% plaque on the artery walls. The Dr. said they don't have to do anything until it is at least 70%. My question is since I am 63 years old is it reasonable to say that 10% is probably normal or is that something to worry about. I am overweight and have lost about 35 lbs in the past year and still have about 60 to go. I have changed my eating habits drastically and am going to begin exercising when my two weeks is up. Any insight into this would be greatly helpful. Thanks and have a blessed day
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cardiostarusa1 responded:
Hi:

"...is it reasonable to say that 10% is probably normal..."

Forget normal, at your age, if it's actually that low, it's extremely impressive, even amazing.

It has been known for quite some time now that atherosclerosis begins (the process/progression of) at a very early age, even as early as in the pre-teen/teenage years.

Studies performed in the past have shown fatty streaks (represents the earliest precursor to plaque development and plaque is the pathological hallmark of atherosclerosis) as the beginning of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries. Soft plaque (more dangerous and unpredictable than hard or calcified plaque) is the early stage of atherosclerosis.

A study in the prestigious NEJM showed just how prevalent this problem is. Researchers performed autopsies on young soldiers who had died in combat from conditions other than CAD.

Almost all the individuals had fatty streaks in the aorta. 50% of individuals under the age of 16 years and 85% of individuals under the age of 40 had them in their coronary arteries. More advanced atheroscleotic blockages were found in 30% of individuals under 20 years and 60% of individuals under 40 years old.

The prevalence of these lesions directly correlated with increasing body weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Cigarette smokers also had more widespread blockages.

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT NOTE: Now recognized worldwide as the most common cause of a heart attack is vulnerable plaque (VP), a soft and potentially deadly type of plaque.

VP is essentially hidden (can't be seen with invasive X-ray angiography, heart catheterization) arterial landmines/time bombs, 0% blockages (though unequivocal atherosclerosis) with the potential to kill, when rupturing and triggering off a blood clot (thrombus).

There over four dozen risk factors, markers, indicators for cardiovascular disease, some iffy/questionable, new, novel emerging, with more certainly to come.


Plus, as reported, a risk factor merely increases the probability that one will develop cardiovascular disease, BUT doesn't 100% guarantee that one will develop it, nor does its absence (or even the absence of ALL known risk factors) 100% guarantee that one won't have a heart attack or brain attack/stroke.

Communicate well with your doctor(s). Best of luck down the road of life.

Take care,

CardioStar*

WebMD member (since 8/99)



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