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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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My husband had a heart attack, had angioplasty & does not take his medicine

My husband had a heart attack, had angioplasty- does not take his meds, and keeps smoking. What will happen ? Does anyone know the stats of how likely he will have another heart attack ?
Tue, 12 Jan 2010
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  Anonymous's Response
's  Response

FYI...I am a 41 year old heart attack survivor with an angioplasty in July 2009.  After an angioplasty, if your husband is not on a regimen of blood thinners like Plavix, Aspirin or possibly even Coumadin, the body will attack the stent as something "foriegn" to it and start to form clotting.  Eventually, the stent will clog up, just as the artery did that caused the heart attack in the first place. 

I don't have the stats on this, but unfortunately, it is not a question of IF, but WHEN he will have his next heart attack.  I believe my Doctor said that not taking blood thinners would cause another blockage within 1 year; I would assume smoking, plus any unaddressed cholesterol issues (MEDS) would accelerate the timeline.   Interestingly, some people only need to be on blood thinners for the first year or so after a stent/angioplasty; the body eventually adjusts and actually will grow tissue around the stent to the point where the body no longer recognizes the stent as a foreign object.

If your husband is having issues with the medications, have him speak to his Doctor to make adjustments.

Smoking is obviously not good, but not taking the medications is truly the biggest concern.  Bottom line...It is his heart and it is truly a matter of life or death. 

  User's Response
Malavika's  Response
Well smoking hardens the artery walls. But he's had a heart attack and is at risk of another obviously. The first year after a heart attack is the riskiest and when you are most prone to having another. The lungs and the heart are a team. My FIL never quit after his 3 heart attacks and eventually developed emphysema. Eventually he died of it. What he has to be careful of is getting pneumonia or something as his immune system is compromised, his heart is weak, and he can develop congestive heart failure...basically your lungs fill up with water and you drown in your own fluids. These are all worse case scenarios....but a really bad cold can cause congestive heart failure...he may not even have a heart attack again but his heart weakens because he is not taking good care. Try to get him to do brisk walks if he is up to it and at least work his heart out if the doc says it's okay to do so.
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