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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can a 15 year old have a Heart Attack?

I know this might be a really ridiculous question, but I recently had some sort of anxiety/panic attack (chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, etc.) and ever since that I had some sort of fear of having a heart attack. Again I know it s pretty ridiculous. Anways, I m 15 years old, I don t drink, smoke, or do drugs (of course). I am overweight, but I play lots of sports. I occasionally eat fast food when I need to eat a quick dinner or something, but not often. I usually eat homemade meals mostly healthy. I know I can t get a heart attack, but my family has a record of Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, and I think Heart Problems. All I was wondering was if it was possible for me to get a heart attack at my age. I was also wondering if you guys have any advice for those anxiety/panic attacks. Thanks! :D
Mon, 22 Apr 2013
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Internal Medicine Specialist 's  Response
Hi

As you are suffering from Anxiety/Panic attack, chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, palpitation/ fast heart beating etc., could be due to Anxiety Disorder. But it does not mean that A 15 year old cannot suffer a Heart Attack. As you are Overweight with family history Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, you need to check your BP, Blood Sugar, Lipid Profile ang ECG. Playing sports and doing regular Exercise and Diets to reduce weight will be helpful. Regading your Anxiety/ Panic Atack, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) e.g., fluoxetine*, paroxetine, escitalopram, Anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines (e.g., lorazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam ) and Cognitive Behavioural Bherapy (CBT), Practice relaxation techniques (e.g., proper breathing, yoga, meditation) will be helpful.

Regards

Ranjit
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ayushi's  Response
Please do a complete read! its highly recommended. Some Early Signs Of The Heart Trouble It has been said earlier that any disturbance in the supply of blood to heart muscle leads to its functional impairment. It will be useful to discuss here such factors, which may lead to disturbances in the supply of blood to heart muscles. Certain conditions increase the strains on the heart. Among these are lack of rest, over exertion or prolonged hard labor which create an excessive body demand for oxygen that the heart, muscle must supply through pumping more blood. If the blood vessels are inelastic on account of arteriosclerosis fibrous thickening or narrowing of passage (atherosclerosis) additional work on the part of the heart will be needed to push blood through these vessels. Other indirect factors that may result in causing disturbance in blood supply are indigestion of food, anger and other emotional excitements. There are some early symptoms, which may be important to watch for. Their appearance calls for a visit to the doctor for a check up. The symptoms are: 1. Dizzy spell or fainting fits 2. Discomfort following meals, especially if long continued. 3. Shortness of breath, after slight exertion. 4. Fatigue with out otherwise explained origin. 5. Pain or tightness in the chest a common sign of coronary insufficiency is usually constrictive in nature and is located behind the chest bone with radiation into the arms or a sense of numbness or a severe pain in the center of the chest 6. Palpitation Some causative factors of heart trouble Heart disease has been more frequently found in certain persons who show peculiar personality physical and mental traits. It will therefore, be worthwhile to discuss these factors. Coronary heart disease is considered to have multiple causative factors i.e., no one single factor perhaps could be identified as one causing a heart attack. 1. Heredity - There is ample evidence to show that incidence of heart disease is more in persons whose direct predecessors like fathers, grandfathers, mothers, brothers have suffered from similar disease. Coronary artery disease is found to run mainly in families. A strong family history of the disease is important in diagnosis. 2. Stress- Heart disease has often been identified with certain personality patterns. It is labelled as personality disease or a high executive disease, that is, it strikes persons with a certain personality. A certain study has shown that there was four times as much coronary disease among aggressive type of individuals. In addition to this other factors such as family responsibilities, interpersonal relationship, financial worries, leisure interests, habits of eating drinking and smoking etc. may play a part that may effect one's heart. 3. Smoking - It has been found by some workers that death rate among those who had heart attack was 50-150 percent higher in those who were heavy cigarette smoker than non-smokers. Physical Exercise - There is a fairly general trend towards encouraging regular physical effort of a kind suited to age and condition of the person concerned. As a preventive as well as a remedial measure exercise is of great importance. There is abundant evidence to suggest that a stressful sedentary life without much exercise provides a situation fraught with coronary danger. Death rate from coronary heart disease is lower among those who do strenuous physical work. Even for patients, who have survived coronary attacks, there has lately been a change in the thinking in marked contrast in earlier ideas. The doctors are now a day advocating, after the initial prescribed rest, walking up the stairs, going on hikes, bicycles and other forms of exercise. The quantum of exercise in each case must of course be decided by the attending physician. 4. Diet and obesity - Certain studies have shown 50 percent increase in heart attacks in employees who were over weight similarly diet and amount of fat are matter of vital importance in incidence of heart disease. The sound advice which could be given is to lead a life of moderation in matter of diet and activity an also to avoid obesity. Large fatty meals and strenuous exercise after them is not conducive to a healthy heart. Saturated fats are likely of animal origin like whole milk, cream, butter, cheese meat, fat, etc. They raise blood cholesterol level. On the other hand unsaturated fats are of vegetable origin and they tend to lower blood cholesterol levels like maize oil, cottonseed oil sunflower oil and fat of fish.
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