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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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How can i avoid to get the second heart attack?

I just Had a Heart attack in August of this year at the young age of 34. How do I deal with all this? Im 35 now.I just turned 35 in september but in August of this year I had a heart attack. I had 4 blocked autries and so therefor I had to have a bypass done. I cant believe at 34 years of age I had to have open heart surgery . My question is How do I go on knowing that at anytime I could have another heart attack. I came so close to dying that it was unreal. Im suffering from deppresion because of it so I would love to hear from anyone that has some advice.
Sat, 12 Dec 2009
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It is very rare for an individual to have significant coronary disease and require a bypass surgery, like you have, at such a young age. No wonder you are anxious about the whole matter. First a word about cholesterol - It doesn't help to have crackpots talking about cholesterol conspiracies and such. I have no doubt the person who wrote that believes it and means the best for you, he's just misguided and doesn't understand enough to know what he doesn't understand. And yes, I visited the web links he had. I largely agree with the assertions that are made. It is just not the whole story. (Like you can eat absolutely anything you want if you eat a 1000 calorie diet per day and your cholesterol levels will be great...but truthfully most people don't do that) You also have to ask yourself why these guys are so desparate that you buy into their theory and why they need to type in CAPITAL letters? Cholesterol lowering medications HAVE been shown to reduce the formation of new arterial plaquing, stabilize plaques that already exists, and with intensive enough treatment, even reverse plaquing, which in sum reduces the incidence of additional acute cardiac events. Each case is individual and treatment is best tailored to the patient's needs. I have seen first-hand many patients that have benefitted from optimized hyperlipidemic treatment. Cholesterol that is typically measured on routine lab studies are MARKERS for the components that actually comprise plaques. Specialized tests can be run to evaluate sub-particles that are the actual components...and treatment can be tailored to address those abnormalities if they exist. Usually you can use the marker test to quickly evaluate rough cholesterol status. I have taken care of a lot of people after they have had an open heart procedure. It is very common that depression sets in after the procedure. It is often a combination of things that causes this - including your body healing, the time it takes to recover, the realization of your mortality and plenty of other factors - but it is real. If you are not being treated already for depression then you probably ought to be. Finally the last piece of advice I might offer is to review your lifestyle. I might be willing to bet you have all of the risk factors for coronary disease - diabetes (and probably therefore overweight), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, positive family history, and smoking. It has taken 30 years for you to adopt the lifestyle you have. It will not be easy to "unlearn" it all, but it is possible and by the way your life depends on it. I believe that if you get serious about improving what you can improve, take your medications and stop smoking (if you do), then your risk profile and therefore your likelihood for future disease is greatly diminished. It is not an easy job, but it is do-able. Good luck.
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