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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What are my chances of dieing of a heart ?

Heart attack; what are my chances of dieing of a heart attack when i grow up? im 16, my father past away feb. 23rd 2006 of a amssive heart attack and my grandma died of a massive heart attack, both on my dad s side...is there any chance i will also have a bad heart when i grow up? i already have medical problems...i have a sleep apnea, a spinal cord problem and many alergies to different things, but most of those don t matter, im just very afraid of having a bad heart....could someone help me possibly? also, to add on to what was already said, my mom has extreme high blood pressure that she does take med s for, and my dad was 49, and his mom was in the 80 s, my grampa on my mom said has had 3 heart attack s not sever, but he had to have surgery 2 times because of it. i am scared, but i will take your advice and i will see a docter, eat right, excercize, and i wont smoke. my dad was a smoker and a drinker, so i know that it s bad for you, thank you all!
Tue, 15 Dec 2009
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Dear Bobo: I think it is very natural to feel worried about a heart attack if one's father has just died of one a couple of months ago. Here is my answer: FIRST: You ARE worried; the question is, SHOULD you be worried? The answer is more difficult than just statistics. If you want statistics, cardiac risk, i.e. the risk of a heart attack can be easily calculated: http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/atpiii/calculator.asp But as it states, this calculator, which is used nearly universally by physicians, applies only for those age 20 or greater. Why is that? Because the heart is like pump -- like any mechanical thing, be it one's car or one's sneakers, it wears out over time, and the older one is, the more likely one is have one's heart give out. Since 20 year olds rarely die of heart attacks (i.e. unless you do crack, etc), its not possible to calculate the odds for the "average" 16 year old. SECOND: What IS a heart attack? Generally, it implies a blockage of one of the arteries supplying blood to the heart. The heart, like any muscle, or any machine, requires fuel -- in this case, oxygen, which is supplied to it by the piping called coronary arteries. When these get plugged up, like any pipe, what is needed can't get through. When this happens to living tissue, the tissue dies. In the case of the heart, as it is the main (and only) pump supplying blood to the rest of the body, if the damage is servere enough, then the pump (i.e. heart) completely fails, the entire body is starved of oxygen, and one passes away. What, then, makes one more likely to have a heart attack? Many things, such as genetics, i.e. a family history of heart disease. But, from this discription, anything that stresses or clogs the piping (arteries) to the heart -- i.e. causes heart disease, also known as atherosclerosis. Stuff like high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes (sugar in the piping, like sugar-water on the table, is sticky and gums up the works), high cholesterol, obesity (which is often a cause of SLEEP APNEA), all increase one's risk. Generally, when a healthy 16 year old walks into a doctor's office asking, am i at risk for a heart attack, the physician will likely wonder why the patient is asking, rather than being worried about the patient actually being at risk. Which brings me to YOUR question: "could somebody help me?" -- the answer I think is: please, please consider talking to a counselor at your school; friends, siblings, a hotline, a doctor. You are worried about your mortality; And right after a family member has died, more so. It's natural, but often, it helps to talk about it. Go ask your doctor this question, and see what she or he has to say. It'll be worth it. As for heart disease, see your doctor regularly over the years, listen to their advice, and . . . Keep well, keep healthy. ------- Disclaimers: In addition to the disclaimers already stated by Yahoo.com: NOTE: The information communicated here does not constitute or imply a patient-doctor interaction or relationship; the reader and/or recipient of any "answer" agrees to hold the writer harmless from any loss, harm, injury or damage resulting from or arising out of your submission of the question or your use of or reliance on any response thereto. As Stated: Yahoo! Answers is provided for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before starting any new treatment or making any changes to existing treatment. Do not delay seeking or disregard medical advice based on information on this site. No health information on Yahoo! Answers, including information about herbal therapies and other dietary supplements, is regulated or evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and therefore the information should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a medical doctor.
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