Heart Attack at 54!!

Hello everyone, guess what I had a heart attack on March 8th. I have SLE and am on Hydroxychloroquine. I am now recovering and had to have a stent fitted. It was all very frightening and took me completely by surprise. Lupus!!

The Cardiac Team did not seem in the least bit interested in my Lupus. I am currently off work recovering and I think I am not on the time frame of the usual heart attack patients. I am overwhelmed with the fatigue and unfortunately no one seems to be connecting the fact I was already suffering from fatigue before the HA.

After 8 weeks most people are back at work but I cannot even imagine going back to my full time job.

I wondered if anyone else has been unfortunate enough to suffer a Heart Attack and how quickly they recovered.



6 Replies

  • I have not had a HA but, I do have malignant hypertension, the doctors seem to think it is caused from lupus. They can find no blockage of any sort. I did have a heart Cath and they would not give me anesthesia to put me to sleep because my BP was 258/163. I take 11 medications a day just for BP. I am 56 I'm not over weight (168 pounds) 5 feet 10 inches tall. Not knowing what is going on is about to drive my  cardiologist crazy.  Not helping me much either. 

    I also have lupus & COPD. I've been out of work for almost 2 years. I've been told with all of my issues I won't be going back. I've already taken early retirement and got every thing going. 

    Hope you get and feel better. 

    I probably didn't help you any and I didn't answer your question. This is just to let you know there are some of us concerned for each other. 

  • Hi ulsterchick61,

    I'm sorry to hear about your recent heart attack. I hope that you recover quickly. There is an increased risk of people with lupus suffering from heart attacks at a younger age. The reasons are not entirely clear though some 'traditional' risk factors such as high blood pressure are more of a problem in people with lupus (often linked to kidney disease) than in people who don't have lupus. Other traditional factors linked to the development of heart attacks such as high cholesterol can be effectively treated with drugs called statins. Similarly antiphospholipid antibody effects can be minimised by the use of aspirin or warfarin. 

  • Wishing you well as soon as poss, ulsterchick....but totally at the pace you need.. this is a BIG ordeal...going gently is a must

    Am so glad you posted: really important we share these experiences & are informed that they can & do happen this way to some amongst us

    For what it's worth: my dear departed father was marfanoid hypermobile (a connective tissue disorder affecting the internal organs as well as the rest of the body...making you prone to heart disease amongst other serious probs...many marfanoid people also have immune dysfunction...my father had a form of hepatitis for no good reason + other persistent health probs I now think possibly were due to unrecognised immune system issues).  He suffered a heart attack in his 40s...he had to take a sabbatical from his profession for 2 years to recover.  He played a lot of golf...and eventually returned to work in pretty good form until retirement...but his heart condition was closely followed with a strict treatment plan eg he had to use a golf buggy & take afternoon 💤💤💤💤

    🍀🍀🍀🍀🌷🌷🌷🌷 coco

  • Hi Ulsterchick. I have HUVS, not Lupus but the two are very similar and have a lot of crossovers. I had a heart attack at 47 and as far as we can tell it was as a result of the the HUVS. It left me in heart failure for a while and took months before things started to improve.

    As I understand it heart attacks vary in severity and can affect different parts of the heart, which can mean that some are more damaging than others. Possibly worth asking your cadiologist for more advice on this.

    I also saw a cardiac rehab nurse and then a heart failure nurse regularly for some time afterwards, which I found really useful. If you're not already seeing one, it might be worth asking your GP or cardiologist if this sort of extra care is available or appropriate.

    Finally it might be worth talking to your Lupus consultant to check how well they think your Lupus is being controlled. If it's still grumbling away then that's only going to add to your fatigue.

    All the best,


  • thanks Richard I am booked to attend cardiac rehab classes on 24th May so that is positive and I have the most wonderful GP who is so supportive ( I saw her this morning and feel better already!!)

    so onwards and upwards, it feels great to have the support of everyone on here



  • Hi Carol, 

    I don't want to give you something else to worry about about but I recently found out here in the U.S. that Plaquenil can cause Cardiomyopathy of the heart. And I'm thinking but not sure that, that could also lead to a heart attack. Rheumy's here are just figuring this out here??!! I was just diagnosed with Plaquenil toxicity of the eyes and now am partially blind which is irreversible. I can talk more about that later but I just want you to educate yourself so you can rule Cardiomyopathy in or out since you posted you take this drug. Google it and you will learn a lot, probably more than your Dr.s know as my case. I recently had an echocardiogram to rule this out and a hearing test since this med can damage hearing as well, which of course I was never told about. My heart and hearing are ok , thankfully. I was on Plaq for 20 years and am no longer on any meds for now.  I read on line that a person does not have to be on Plaq for that long to have Cardiomyopathy tho, and although it is considered rare the fact that my Dr.s also told me that toxicity was rare so they were not keeping a vigilant watch on my eyes! I'm only 51 years old! Just because they say it's RARE doesn't mean it is I also saw on Google. Just means it's not Very Common! Be your own advocate, which I know is OH SO HARD when your not feeling well but I'm a micro manager of my health and the one area that I was NOT came and bit me in the butt! I trusted my Rheumy and eye dr and they both let me down BIG TIME. 

    Educate, Advocate, and speak up and have someone with you if you have trouble with this as I do at times. My advice for all of you that have Lupus and other health issues!

    Take care and hugs, 💗

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