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Developed pain in arm that is radiating to neck and back. Family history of heart disease. Suggest?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1722 Questions
Hello, I am a woman 41 years of age, no cholesterol, low blood pressure (sometimes too low) with a family history of heart disease. My mother has had bypass surgery twice and my brother suffered a massive heart attack at the age of 43 (6 blocked arteries). I have been experiencing pain in my left arm which radiates into my neck and back. I also have heart palpitations, wake at night in a sweat and feel anxious.
My GP feels I should not worry about my risk until menopause.
Posted Mon, 23 Sep 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 46 minutes later
Brief Answer:
The risk increases as you age

Detailed Answer:

Although your GP is right that women should not worry until menopause because of the protective affect of the oestrogens, this may not be true in your case with a significant display of symptoms.

Since there is a strong family history from parents and sibling I would alert such patients in my clinic for a thorough health check. I would specifically ask for regular BP check (once in two months) and cholesterol check (6 months) annual ECG, TMT and/ or Spiral CT Angio. Since spiral CT angio is within Cardiologist domain I would refer if the TMT is not within normal limits. I would put you on low dose prophylactic aspirin 75mg if needed. This can significantly reduce the risk towards heart disease.

Hope this helps you in choosing the right direction.

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