8 doctors weighed in:

Do you usually have to be diagnosed with heart disease to have a heart attack or you can have one if you have risk factors?

8 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Lipkin
Internal Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Can have if (+) risk

Many patient with heart attack have no history of heart disease.
The more risk factors you have the more your risk: (+)Family history of heart attack in a male age 55 or younger or female by age 65 or younger. (+)Tobacco smoking (+)Diabetes (+)High cholesterol or triglycerides (+)Lack of exercise (+)Obesity (+)High Blood Pressure (+)being a male over 45 years old or female over 55 years

In brief: Can have if (+) risk

Many patient with heart attack have no history of heart disease.
The more risk factors you have the more your risk: (+)Family history of heart attack in a male age 55 or younger or female by age 65 or younger. (+)Tobacco smoking (+)Diabetes (+)High cholesterol or triglycerides (+)Lack of exercise (+)Obesity (+)High Blood Pressure (+)being a male over 45 years old or female over 55 years
Dr. David Lipkin
Dr. David Lipkin
Thank
Dr. Milton Alvis, jr
Preventive Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Drivers, called Risk

Factors, are the key issue.
Artery disease, by autopsy studies going back 8 decades, is present in 1/2 of the population by age 7, younger last 30-40 years. Events due to plaque rupture(s), usually asymptomatic despite damage & occur suddenly. Thus waiting for events very foolish, though normal/popular. Main drivers Lipoproteins (Not cholesterol), blood glucose not low & systolic BP not <120 mmHg.

In brief: Drivers, called Risk

Factors, are the key issue.
Artery disease, by autopsy studies going back 8 decades, is present in 1/2 of the population by age 7, younger last 30-40 years. Events due to plaque rupture(s), usually asymptomatic despite damage & occur suddenly. Thus waiting for events very foolish, though normal/popular. Main drivers Lipoproteins (Not cholesterol), blood glucose not low & systolic BP not <120 mmHg.
Dr. Milton Alvis, jr
Dr. Milton Alvis, jr
Thank
Dr. Julie Abbott
Preventive Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: No warning

There are over 900,000 heart attacks in the US each year; almost half of them occur without prior symptoms/warning signs including a diagnosis of heart disease.
Most of these individuals DO have one or more risk factors: smoking, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol. family history, older age, male. Best approach: know and control risk factors as much as you can:)

In brief: No warning

There are over 900,000 heart attacks in the US each year; almost half of them occur without prior symptoms/warning signs including a diagnosis of heart disease.
Most of these individuals DO have one or more risk factors: smoking, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol. family history, older age, male. Best approach: know and control risk factors as much as you can:)
Dr. Julie Abbott
Dr. Julie Abbott
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Jessica Allan
Women may have different symptoms compared to men. If you feel discomfort go to your nearest ER. Time is of the essence!
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Tonga Nfor
Board Certified, Internal Medicine - Cardiology
13 years in practice
508K people helped
Continue
111,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors