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British Heart Foundation
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What does my stenosis diagnosis really mean?

I recently had a CT coronary angiogram and had a letter from the consultant stating the following:

“This lady’s CT coronary angiogram has shown a mild to moderate stenosis in the mid-portion of her left anterior descending artery. She should be treated with aspirin and a statin for risk factor reduction, and if she remains asymptomatic then this requires no further attention at this time.”

I need to include all pre-existing conditions for travel insurance but I’m not sure where it fits in the heart disease options which can be declared.

Is my diagnosis aortic stenosis? I see the word “artery” and immediately think “aorta.” (I was taken aback to read that this condition is known as “the widow maker.” Fortunately I’m not married!)

My GP put me on Lipitor and a 75mg. aspirin. She said I’d probably had this for years. Both my parents had heart attacks although they died from other ailments.

Sorry to be longwinded but if I don’t have aortic stenosis and something less serious, I’d like to tell the insurance company as it may keep my premium lower than the £1,000 I’ve been quoted an annual worldwide policy.

Thanks for all responses.

Jane

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You will see the affected artery also referred to as the LAD. The diagnosis means that it is slight blocked but not enough to cause symptoms. Statins can reduce the chance of this increasing and aspirin reduce the chance of a clot causing a blockage - with a partial blockage you need a smaller clot for this to happen than a healthy artery. I have four arteries over 70% blocked with the LAD (~85%) being the worse and am awaiting a bypass. With your medication and lifestyle changes if necessary (healthy low fat diet, exercise within your personal capabilities, no smoking) you could well avoid progressing to the stents/bypass stage. Nothing is guaranteed as my issue is genetic!

This is classified a heart disease but if your premium is too hefty look elsewhere. If you are past the first flush of youth try Staysure.

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Thank you, Michael. Is LAD considered aortic stenosis? I looked up LAD on the Internet and it sounds rather frightening.

My condition is genetic also so there’s not much we can do about that other than trying to live a healthy lifestyle.

I ended up taking out health insurance through my Nationwide account. It comes with several benefits, like mobile phone insurance and roadside assistance. It also “free” travel insurance, meaning that account holders are automatically covered but without pre-existing conditions. However, to add on my pre-existing conditions cost me £216 for annual multi-trip worldwide insurance inc. USA.

The agent assured me that the premium is correct, and our call was recorded so there is proof of what he told me.

Hoping for the best for you.

Jane

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Sorry to butt in on your conversation: I have a Nationwide Flex bank account and was pleased to read this. Many thanks! 😁

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Me too but they flatly refused to cover any heart related issues after my heart attack!

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I’m sorry to hear that, Nathan. Have you tried Staysure? It will be expensive but better than risking going away without insurance.

I’ve read posts in other threads about heart patients getting health insurance through the Women’s Institute! I haven’t researched it myself but it’s worth a look. I doubt the W.I. would stop a man from joining but you could always ask a female relative to join and name you on the policy.

Please let us know what happens.

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i have 4 artieries 90% blocked,1 artery (Diagonal1) 100% blocked yet I have refused bypass .Medicines,Low Fat diets and Excercises look to be good enough

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I do not know what symptoms you have but in my case I feel my life has been on hold for over a year now. Although the angina is reasonably controlled by drugs, the breathlessness and excessive tiredness severely limit what I can do. Overall I do not think my quality of life is that good at the moment!

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i do not have angina but ischemic only at 9min bruce tread mill test only able to do daily 45 minutes walking comfortably and other normal life .. routine excercises have developed alternative arteries for me so able to escape bypass

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Hi Jane. Following a heart attack last June I had a stent fitted to the LAD which is the left anterior descending artery and supplies the left side of the heart. Like Michael I have other arteries that have 70% blockages but cannot be stented due to the position of the plaque. So am treated with medication. The aorta is the large artery that feeds into the heart. Checkout the BHF website which will give you further in-depth information. Although it’s a shock receiving this information try and focus on the fact that you have found it and have started preventative treatment. If you are concerned it maybe worth booking more time with your GP for further discussion or with the BHF helpline. They are really helpful I have used it a few times. As to the insurance unfortunately premiums are more with heart disease! Again BHF have a page about this that may help. Do take care stay strong and keep taking the tablets as we all have to!!! Best wishes Zena

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Thank you, Zena, for telling me about the resources available on the BHF website. I also didn’t know about the helpline.

Wishing you wel...

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Try different insurers

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On a further note a stenosis is a narrowing of any tubular organ in the body and in addition to blood vessels can refer to the digestive and breathing structures. Aortic stenosis usually means that operation of the aortic valve (connected to the aorta) has been affected by fatty deposits/calcification. Your cardiologist's do not mention this just stenosis of the LAD.

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Thank you, everyone, for replying to my question.

I ended up going with Nationwide Travel Insurance. I get worldwide annual coverage as one of the benefits of having a FlexPlus account, which has a service charge of £13. (There are other benefits too: mobile phone insurance, roadside assistance and no fee when using banks abroad to get local currency.)

It cost me a £216 to include my pre-existing conditions. I declared aortic stenosis as one of my conditions. LAD wasn’t listed as one of the heart conditions options on the application.

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Well, I found out today that I don’t have aortic stenosis, which a doctor said is a problem with a valve. Anyway, I’d declared that on my travel insurance medical questionnaire but now I have to undeclare it. Maybe my premium will go down.

I spent the day at the hospital as I was feeling chest pain again. After a bunch of tests and a chest x-ray, they sent me home and said that if I feel pain on exertion—which I haven’t so far, thank goodness, I should go back to A&E. Other than that, keep taking the tablets.

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