Sadly many heart attack victims live with a false sense of security, unaware that they are living with a potentially deadly disease.
Lifestyle choices are very important indicators for heart disease but they alone cannot be used to determine a person’s risk for heart attack or CAD.
I have lived a very healthy lifestyle the vast majority of my life. I’ve never smoked, done drugs, or had a poor diet. I cut fried foods, dairy, beef and pork from my diet over 15 years before my heart attack. Likewise I’ve never been a drinker of soft drinks or alcohol. In addition to having a much better than average diet (for someone living in the USA), I exercise daily – a minimum of at least 45 minutes (those are my calves in the photo above).
On paper – discounting the MOST IMPORTANT INDICATOR for heart disease – I was the last person you’d suspect would have a deadly heart attack at age 46.
THE MOST IMPORTANT INDICATOR for heart disease is heredity – genetics – family history. Dozens of genes have been identified and associated with heart disease. These genes are passed down from generation to generation via our DNA.
You can live life as healthy as possible – making healthy choices such as:
- The Best Diet (healthy natural foods, low fat/cholesterol, low sugar intake)
- Active/Healthy Lifestyle (exercise regularly and maintain an ideal body weight/BMI)
- No smoking or alcohol
- No drugs
And you can still have CAD. I know – because when I suffered my heart attack – I was and had been living the lifestyle above for decades.
If the members of your immediate family have had issues with:
- Uncontrolled Blood Pressure
- Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
- Blood clot formation in the legs
Then YOU are at a much greater risk for developing the same.
If your family has a history of CAD and you have borderline, moderate, or high cholesterol – you need to discuss medication options for managing your cholesterol with a qualified physician.
I inherited CAD. It’s been with me my entire life. The plaques (build up of fatty material in my arteries) which lead to my heart attack have most likely been with me since I was a teen. I was literally a ticking time bomb.
I was lucky. I survived and I am healthier now that I’ve ever been in my entire life.
DO NOT COUNT ON LUCK. Get your blood tested and don’t be afraid or timid when it comes to asking questions to your doctor about what your test results mean.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER – and understanding your risk for CAD is the first step in beating the odds and living a full, healthy, productive life without the shadow of heart disease looming over all that you do.