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Doctor insights on: How Do You Know If You Are At Risk For Heart Disease

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How do you know if you are at risk for heart disease?

How do you know if you are at risk for heart disease?

Heart disease: Besides being alive other risk factors for heart disease are family history, diet status, exercise status, smoking status, hypertension, diabetes, blood lipids, gout, stress status, inflammatory status, . ...Read more

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Dr. Bennett Werner
2,783 doctors shared insights

Heart Diseases (Definition)

Heart disease is a condition in which a person has problems within his or her vascular system and heart, which includes both congenital birth defects and problems acquired later. Examples of heart disease include clogging (atherosclerosis) of the coronary (heart) arteries, heart attacks (obstructions of the arteries), damaged heart valves, heart muscle failure, and viral infections of the heart. Some major causes of heart disease include genetics, smoking, hypertension, high ...Read more


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My husband is 58 and has had untreated high blood pressure for 20 years. He won't take medication. He's heavy. Is he at risk for heart disease?

My husband is 58 and has had untreated high blood pressure for 20 years. He won't take medication. He's heavy. Is he at risk for heart disease?

YES: High BP is a silent killer. It causes few symptoms until it's already damaged the heart, brain or kidneys. Usually by then damage is irreversible. Some media reports might confuse people because there's been recent debate about whether treatment is needed for mild hypertension. But it's pretty clear to everyone that anything over 150/90 or so is dangerous, especially over another 20-30 years. ...Read more

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My cholesterol is 249; however, my HDL is 162 and my LDL is 75. My doctor wants to put me on a statin. Am i at risk for heart disease?

My cholesterol is 249; however, my HDL is 162 and my LDL is 75. My doctor wants to put me on a statin. Am i at risk for heart disease?

Can't tell: Total cholesterol is only one of many possible risk factors for heart disease. If you smoke, have high blood pressure, diabetes, don't exercise or are male, your risk would be higher. Discuss the reasons your doctor is recommending a statin with him/her. Your LDL number is very good, as is the hdl. ...Read more

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Im 18 & get a lot of chest pain. Ive had a normal ecg, ekg, and chest xray but am i at risk for heart disease? Should i do further testing.

Im 18 & get a lot of chest pain. Ive had a normal ecg, ekg, and chest xray but am i at risk for heart disease? Should i do further testing.

Chest pain: There are many causes of chest pain. Heart disease is but one of them. A lot more information is needed to judge your risk of heart disease. You should discuss this question with your doctor who knows you the best. ...Read more

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All blood work normal EKG stress test chest X-ray all normal, but I am taking blood pressure med. If no heart disease am I still at risk for heart att?

All blood work normal EKG stress test chest X-ray all normal, but I am taking blood pressure med. If no heart disease am I still at risk for heart att?

Yes, we all are: We are all at risk for heart attacks. The risk factors addressed in the website given below affect the chances of disease, but lack of all of these risk factors does not reduce the likelihood of heart attack to zero. Maintaining a healthy life style reduces the risk. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-attack/basics/risk-factors/con-20019520 ...Read more

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My father died aged 49 from coronary heart disease I am 38 am i at risk too please help.?

My father died aged 49 from coronary heart disease I am 38 am i at risk too please help.?

Maybe: One of the risk factors for coronary artery disease is family history. It does play strong role but it isn't 100%. My grandfather died at 48 of heart attack but ate poorly was overweight and smoked. My father turns 80 and has had 1 minor stent. A good screening tool is a ct calcium score. Costs around $300 or less (i've seen it at $100). It can give you an idea of your risks. ...Read more

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Is congenital heart disease correlated with age? Are older people more at risk with congenital heart disease, if so, how can it be prevented?

Is congenital heart disease  correlated with age? Are older people more at risk with congenital heart disease, if so, how can it be prevented?

No: I think this is a definition issue. Congenital means "from birth", and most congenital issues are caught nearer to birth, especially major ones that either cause blue lips and gums, or failure to grow properly. Sometimes an issue like a small hole between chambers of the heart goes undetected, and is found later on a cardiac work up for other reasons. But issues like that start from birth. ...Read more

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If I am at risk of ischaemic heart disease, can I take aspirin 100mg/day?

If I am at risk of ischaemic heart disease, can I take aspirin 100mg/day?

Definietly: 81mg is the normal dose. If you know you're at risk, you should probably talk to your doctor to see how best to define that. You may have some other options. ...Read more

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If you had plaque on your teeth for 1 year will it affect your body and make you more at risk of heart disease?

If you had plaque on your teeth for 1 year will it affect your body and make you more at  risk of heart disease?

Of course: A growing number of research finds that bacteria, plaque and inflammation in your mouth are linked to heart attack and stroke. see your dentist, it may actually save your life. ...Read more

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Important question for doctor or someone who knows a lot about heart disease? What is risk for baby if mom had heart defect?

Important question for doctor or someone who knows a lot about heart disease? What is risk for baby if mom had heart defect?

Question confusing: If your ? Is will baby be at risk of a heart defect if mom has one, the answer is possibly.If mom & not dad has a defect there is abour 5% risk of baby having some type of defect, though not always the same one.If dad has one the risk increases. If ? Is it risky for the baby for mom to have a heart defect, the answer depends on the defect & how it effects mom's health.Stable=ok unstable=risky. ...Read more

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I eat a fair amount of junk daily. I am 23yo and underweight 123lbs. Am I at risk of heart disease/fatty liver ect if I carry on eating like this ?

I eat a fair amount of junk daily. I am 23yo and underweight 123lbs. Am I at risk of heart disease/fatty liver ect if I carry on eating like this ?

Poor nutrition : You are eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) with excess processed foods, high sugar intact and excess omega 6 fatty acids. These foods produce inflammation in our bodies resulting in heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer! ...Read more

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Important question for doctor who knows a lot about heart disease. Is CHF always fatal?

Important question for doctor who knows a lot about heart disease. Is CHF always fatal?

No: Like with everything else, there are degrees of severity. If your CHF is mild or well controlled you can live for many more years and be productive. If your CHF is moderate you might not be as physically active but you might still live for many more years. If you have uncontrolled severe CHF you should talk to your doctor and consider your options (i.e.: assist devices or transplant). ...Read more

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Can eating milk chocolate decrease my risk for heart disease?

Can eating milk chocolate decrease my risk for heart disease?

No: Dark chocolate, in moderation (1 small piece / day) appears to help lower the risk of heart and vascular disease. Milk chocolate does not have the same benefits due to the additives used to turn it into "milk" chocolate. ...Read more

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What do they mean that babies can have risk for heart disease?

What do they mean that babies can have risk for heart disease?

Malformation: The heart is a complex organ and an amazing one.About 1/2 to1% of live born infants have some form of defect ranging from minimal and self healing to major & life threatening. The process that forms the heart is influenced by a number of genes scattered within the child's dna. Recurrence risk within the same family of some form of defect is slightly elevated. ...Read more

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If diagnosed with pericardritis, should I limit activity and does this put me at any increased risk for heart disease?

If diagnosed with pericardritis, should I limit activity and does this put me at any increased risk for heart disease?

Yes: First you need to get your pericarditis treated and in remission before you worry about limiting activity causing worse heart outcomes long term. The treatment for pericarditis includes cessation of all exercise (as it revvs up your adrenergic system) and is counterproductive to treating pericarditis. only normal acitivies of daily living allowed till pericardial pain in remission, otherwise ...Read more

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How does preeclampsia up the risk for heart disease?

How does preeclampsia up the risk for heart disease?

Stress test for body: Consider any pregnancy a stress-test for the body and the female heart and vessels. The preeclamptic women fail that test and are at increased risk for chronic hypertension and heart disease down the road - not as a consequence of preeclmapsia, but rather because of their genes, lifestyle, weight, activity and diet. ...Read more

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Is there an evidence based protocol for someone who is at a high risk for heart disease? I want exercise/diet help.

Is there an evidence based protocol for someone who is at a high risk for heart disease? I want exercise/diet help.

Yes: Eating fresh vegetables, high quality protein, and fresh fruits in 6 equal meals, relaxation, good night sleep, and rhythmic movements through the day to produce cardiac coherence and keep stress level down is a path for health. Because everyone is different if you listen to your body and devlop a healthy life style that works for you that will be better than a general RX of diet and exercise ...Read more

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Saw something online that said "men who can grow beards easily are at higher risk for heart disease and cancer" is this true or is this nonsense?

Saw something online that said "men who can grow beards easily are at higher risk for heart disease and cancer" is this true or is this nonsense?

Haven't heard that: Looking at our Earth's population as a whole, such an assumption is probably not true. The amount of facial hair varies a great deal among different racial groups, so there are probably many other factors involved in cancer risks and heart disease risks. ...Read more