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    my 38 year old brother had a heart attack
    biabrasil posted:
    Hi im new here. Im a 32 year old healthy female mother of older brother whos 38 had a massive heart attack 2 weeks ago and I am now terrified.hes doing ok underwent a quadruple bypass surgery and is recovering slowly but well (he has 3 blocked arteries his drs said hes lucky to be alive).hes a physician himself never drank or smoked.was a little overweight but not too bad.bp was high and h en was not taking bp meds right.he exercised regularly in fact he had the heart attack while working out at the gym.

    My entire family is shocked and me and my middle brother are now afraid this is mom has high cholesterol she controls it with diet exercise and meds.high bp runs in ky family.i went and saw a cardilogist we r monitoring my bp and cholesterol im alreay making cjanges to my diet cutting down on cholesterol. ..but my questions are:xould this be genetic?are me and my brother at a higher risk now?the cardiologist told me to start taking baby aspirin after im done breastfeesing I have a 5 month old baby and a 4 year old as well...he thinks its too soon for more testing.he did an ekg whixh was so scared plz help. Bianca C.
    cardiostarusa1 responded:

    "Could this be genetic?"

    "Are me and my brother at a higher risk now?"

    May/could be.

    From WebMD's Dr. Beckerman (in response to a message a while back) -

    "Even though around 20% of our heart disease risk is genetic, it is believed that about 80% (if not more) is related to lifestyle. So we should control the things we can (don't smoke, exercise daily, eat healthfully, treat blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, and diabetes, and aim for a healthy weight) and not over-focus on the things we cannot (age, sex, family history). It's hard to keep those relative risks in perspective sometimes, but very important to focus on what you can impact in your own life."


    Additionally here, as various medical literature and the worldwide media have reported, clinically significant (blood flow-limiting) coronary artery disease (CAD), sometimes leading to a dreaded heart attack, is increasing in those in their mid/late 30s to early 40s.

    CAD actually begins (the process and progression of) very early in life, even as early as in the pre-teen/teenage years. Studies performed in the past have shown that fatty streaks (represents the earliest precursor to plaque development and plaque is the pathological hallmark of atherosclerosis) are 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 atherosclerotic 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.

    Also, as reported, the symptoms of artery-narrowing atherosclerosis are highly variable. Those with mild atherosclerosis may present with clinically important symptoms and signs of disease and heart attack, or absolute worst case scenario, sudden cardiac death (SCD) may be the first and only symptom of coronary artery disease (CAD). However, many individuals with anatomically advanced disease may have no symptoms and experience no functional impairment.

    ALWAYS be proactive in your health care and treatment.

    Best of luck to you and your family down the road of life.

    Take care,


    WebMD member (since 8/99)



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    The Heart: (Human Anatomy) Pictures, Definition, Location in the Body and Heart Problems

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    Good to know, for the primary/secondary prevention of heart attack and brain attack

    Epidemiologic studies (EDS) have revealed risk factors (encompasses some new, novel or emerging) for atherosclerosis, typically affecting the carotid, coronary, and peripheral arteries, which includes age, gender, genetics (gene deletion, malfunction or mutation) , diabetes (considered as being the hghest risk factor) , smoking (includes second and thirdhand), inactivity, obesity ( a global epidemic, "globesity"), high blood pressure (hypertension), Low HDL (now questionable, according to recent studies) high LDL, small, dense LDL, RLP (remnant lipoprotein), high Lp(a), high ApoB, high Lp-PLA2, high triglycerides, HDL2b, high homocysteine (now questionable), and high C-reactive protein (CRP/hs-CRP).


    It's your there.


    WebMD/WebMD forums does not provide medical
    advice, diagnosis or treatment.
    James Beckerman, MD, FACC responded:
    I'm sorry to hear about your brother.

    it's true that there is a genetic component to coronary disease, in addition to the lifestyle-related risk factors we can control (blood pressure, smoking, exercise, lipids, diabetes) to some extent.

    Some doctors believe that a significant family history should lower our threshold to treat with medications (like aspirin or statins) or do testing (like a CT coronary angiogram) but this is a very personal decision for you and your doctor. While you may not make any changes in what you are doing until you are done breastfeeding, it's certainly appropriate to have the conversations with your physician.

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