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British Heart Foundation
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Prevention

Hi , recently had an Angiogram and was told that my coronaries were 70% blocked. I have changed my diet, my BMi is normal and i have started to exercise.However, my condition is due to my ethnic background and genetics. Can i do anything to prevent further deterioration or anything that can reduce my risks of an heart attack.

Any advice would be appreciated.

thank you

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It is an unfortunate fact that the highest risk factor for heart disease (outside smoking possibly) is genetic. You can do things to manage your risk (diet, weight, exercise) as you are doing, and I think I’d be scheduling annual checkups to monitor progress. You didn’t mention cholesterol levels or drug treatments - are you prescribed anything and if not talk to you GP and see if there is anything you should be considering

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Thanks Steve I am onAtorvastatin 40mg, aspirin75mg ,bisoprolol 2.5mg & Clopidogrel 75mg

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Ok, that’s a pretty standard drug treatment, so keep taking the drugs, keep up the healthy diet, exercise and keep to a healthy body weight and you are doing everything you can reasonably do to manage your risks. Good luck

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I agree with Steve. I had a stent in a 'severely narrowed artery' in 2012. I was told my other arteries were showing some signs of narrowing. Again like you I am now on 4 tablets each day. Again a very strong genetic link. My father died at 49 and older brother at 56 both with heart disease and heart attacks. It is scary sometimes but you learn to live with it. I think diet, exercise and wellbeing is very important. Depending on how busy your medical practice is you may need to chase up your annual checks with them yourselves. I do this for reassurance.

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Thanks paw1

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Hi terrance43,

I've done a fair bit of research on this and the future is not at all bleak, genetics is responsible for a lot of the risk, but fortunately cholesterol is a genetic factor which can be effectively controlled by drugs:

Below is an extract from the Harvard Heart Letter: 'The genetics of heart disease':

"On average, every 40 mg/dl (1 mmol/l = 38.67 mg/dl) drop in a person's cholesterol cuts the risk of heart attack by about 20%, but among people with the highest genetic risk scores (you), we observed a 40% reduction in risk with a 40 mg/dL drop in cholesterol,"

I don't know what your original cholesterol was but you can do your own calculation.

I had a heart attack 5 years ago with a blocked RCA. The angiogram also showed my distal LAD (the LAD is the artery the cardios jokingly call the widowmaker) was 75-94% blocked, apparently this could not be surgically treated so I guess it's still the same.

I'm also on 40mg Atorvastatin and my cholesterol is about 3.8 mmol/l with a 2.6 ratio. I regularly exercise down at the gym, I jog and cycle and have no angina or other heart problems apart from Afib which was successfully treated with Flecainide.

The heart is fairly robust and it can create natural bypasses called collateral arteries. These collaterals are tiny arteries that over time grow around blockages and are apparently capable of delivering adequate amounts of blood to supply the heart muscles. The extent of these natural bypasses varies from person to person and depends on individual conditions such as hereditary factors, the degree of physical activity, and the constrictions in the main coronary arteries. I like to visualise these arteries growing every time I exercise....works for me.

Good luck and stay positive!

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Thank you ..It’s good to know that there is much I can do .

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Hi thanks for the info . Like yourself my father and uncles died whilst in there late 40s. Since my diagnosis I have changed my diet and have started to exercise on a regular basis. Since I have joined this web site I am not so down about my condition so hopefully positivity will. Eventually overcome my feeling down .

Thanks once again for the medical paper.

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