British Heart Foundation
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Inherited heart disease

Hi everyone, I was diagnosed last year with angina due to the small vessels contracting. (Microvascular I think) . This was after they suspected a heart attack and my triptomine levels increased. After a MRI my muscles didn't show damage so this is what my cardiologist as said is what he thinks it is. I had other tests showing heart problems. I have Lupus, fibromyalgia and SS syndrome. My mother and two brothers both died of heart attacks before 60. Today I learnt my only remaining brother who suffers with pulmonary fibrosis has been found to have thickening of the heart muscles which is making his breathing even worse. He has been started on tables which he says has helped a little. I have looked up thickening of the Heart muscles and it says it is a hereditary condition. It is now making me wonder if this was the problem my mother and brothers had. Can anyone help me with what exactly this is, my brother doesn't live near me so I can't really see how he is and have to rely on what he wants to tell me. He is going soon to have tests to confirm I would imagine in Sheffield. If it is hereditary should I inform my cardiologist. Thanks for any help.

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Hi Gilly. I don't know anything about the conditions you mention but I would say it would be a good idea to give your cardiologist a phone and see what they have to say about it. You can also call BHF Heart Helpline for information and advice. Number is 0300 330 3311.

Good luck with everything going forward, it sounds like you have a lot on your plate. Much love to you and your brother x

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Hello there - sorry to hear about all your health problems. A thickening of the heart muscle can be due to many things especially if there are other conditions at play, for example, valve disease and high blood pressure can cause the heart muscle to become thicker. This is because the heart is essential a muscle and the more you work it the thicker it can become.

Some people have a strong family history of heart disease, which seems to be the case here. This doesn't mean you have something genetically 'wrong' with you, such as a faulty gene that's causing issue. Sometimes our genetic profiles built up of everything we receive from our parents can increase our risk of certain conditions, whether it's heart disease, cancer or dementia. The rest relies heavily on our environment and our lifestyles and how they impact on our health.

I hope this is helpful, but please feel free to call our helpline if you need any more information.

Take care, Chris

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