My father died from a heart attack. How can I keep track of my heart health?

Risk assessment. A good knowledge of your risk factors (of which family history is clearly one). Knowing your status with regards to traditional factors, like cholesterol profile, diabetes, and blood pressure. Lifestyle indicators like exercise tolerance, smoking, etc. Further risk delineation might be possible with advanced screening modalities such as stress testing and coronary ct angiography might help too.
ECG, echo. Regular evaluation by your doctor with routine ECG and periodic stress echocardiogram. ..
See your doctor. Heart disease tends to run in families. After a detailed history, physical examination, electrocardiogram, and some blood work, your physician will be able to develop a plan to minimize the risk of heart attack in the future.

Related Questions

For 58+ F, can presence of LBBB in ECG be indicative of any previous heart attack or stroke? How risky is it for future heart health?

Absolutely, LBBB is. A result of endocardial muscle damage/infarction of the Perkinje fibers & surrounding muscle. Endocardial muscle (because heart contraction blocks capillary flow during each beat) is always most susceptible to ischemic damage (heart attack) yet least reflected on surface EKG other than by elongation of the QRS duration. Thus a block; QRS duration beyond 80 msec=most sensitive sign of heart attack.

What would u say to obese patient who wants 2 exercise 2 improve heart health/lose weight, but doesn't due to a phobia about having heart attack? : (

Phobia treatment. I would suggest to this person that treatment for phobias and other anxiety disorders is very possible and could be lifesaving. Has your primary care physician (and maybe also your cardiologist) evaluated your cardiovascular health and made suggestions for you? Have they cleared you for a gradual exercise program? Those are important steps -- and also working with a therapist on your anxiety.
See your doctor. Get a physical, clearance to begin an exercise program. See a nutritionist, and perhaps even a counselor. Medications may be appropriate as well. Basically, you don't have to figure all this out on your own. Getting these fearful thoughts out of your head with someone else does wonders for getting over them. Fears in the head cause anxiety, food can be a way to ease that anxiety. You can do it.
Get unstuck. Sometimes people don't exercise because they accept a specious argument against exercising. If there's a fear of a heart attack, i'd suggest a medical evaluation and clearance to exercise. If the fear persists, counseling can help. In reality, the risk of heart attack is greater from lack of exercise. Good luck!

Might it be possible that a a lot of anxiety and stress cause a heart attack in a person with a healthy heart?

Not directly. Anxiety and stress can cause arrhythmias, including serious ones that may be life threatening, but those are not technically a heart attack. Psychosocial stresses often are associated with poor lifestyle habits (diet, weight, lack of exercise, cigarette use) that may contribute to heart attack risks.
Rare. Pts with an acute or traumatic life altering event has been known to cause chest pain ekg changes and a wall motion abnormality in the front of the heart on echo. The cardiac enzymes will rise as well. When a heart cath is done no blockage is found. This has been dubbed " broken heart syndrome ". Presumeable cause is from the catacholamines ie adrenaline rush that affects the heart.

In a healthy heart can strong emotions such as fear, anger, anxiety and a rxn to a natural disaster cause a heart attack or cardiac arrest? : (

Unlikey. Need other issues-atherosclerosis and risk factors smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, etc.
Yes. There is a condition caused "broken heart syndrome, " where someone can get cardiac arrest from severe stress or emotions. It is quite rare, but it can happen. It is caused by the surge of stress hormones, like adrenaline, that can be released from severe stress. I must stress - no pun intended - that it is rare, but it can happen, and I have seen it happen.
Broken Heart. "Acute stress cardiomyopathy" is a condition which mimics heart attack. It can cause severe heart complications including heart failure and death. The diagnosis is generally made by the history (a sudden severe emotional or physical stress followed by chest symptoms) and the finding of heart muscle dysfunction (often in Takotsubo pattern) and no coronary artery occlusion to explain it.
Rarely. Although very uncommon, sudden cardiac arrest has occured in people with healthy hearts when sudden severe emotional trauma has occurred.
Extremely rare, but. The event you have worried is extremely rare and unpredictable in attesting life is a constantly changing adjusting dynamic process of struggle to cope with reality, certainty, & uncertainty of daily living. How to face life reality? Peruse articles in Basics of Life Reality & Self-care in http://formefirst. Com/Basics-SelfImprovement. Html and its related articles inside the category.

Does the birth control pill put you at risk of a heart attack, stroke or cardiac arrest on an other wise healthy heart?

Some risk- but small. It is a very small risk, but estrogen increases the risk of blood clotting, which could result in a heart attack or stroke. This is very rare, and should not be considered a risk for an otherwise healthy person. Do not use birth control that contains estrogen and smoke. This combination is harmful. You do not smoke, so there should be no problem.
Some birth. Control pills place you at higher risk of all thromboembolic disorders, especially if you have other risk factors, including smoking or advanced age. As with any other medical treatment, your doctor must balance benefits versus risks, when prescribing pill.

My father died had of a heart attack, and I believe my great grandpa did too on my moms side. What are the best ways to avoid heart failure for myself?

Control risk factors. Heart attack and heart failure are different. Ha can lead to hf. As you realize your risks are higher. Knowing the potential problem is the first step. Exercise (resistance and cardio), weight control, and no smoking are important. The proper diet is important. Cut out sugar and eat a balanced diet in protein complex carbs and health fats. Find a good doctor you can trust and work w/them.
General health. General healthy lifestyle including well-rounded diet, lots of exercise (doesn't matter what kind) and no drugs/smoking, only moderate alcohol are helpful for heart health. With a strong family history even a very young person, ie. 20 should get their cholesterol checked at least once.

What is my risk of a heart attack? My father died suddenly and I am anxious this will happen at any moment.

Heart risk. There are risks that can lead to heart disease, and there are non-invasive medical tests that can help you determine what your current status is. Risk factors: smoking, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, and family history of heart disease at an early age. Screening tests: blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, body mass index, ecg. Coronary ct scan can identify plaque in artery.
U should worry! Please stop smoking completely! You can calculate your risk: https://www. Google. Com/url? Sa=t;rct=j;q=;esrc=s;source=web;cd=2;cad=rja;uact=8;ved=0cdiqfjab;url=http%3a%2f%2fcardiosource. Org%2f~%2fmedia%2ffiles%2fscience%2520and%2520quality%2fguidelines%2fomnibus%2520spreadsheet%2520new. Aspx%3fw_nav%3dln;ei=yacqu8mejdkiogtoriloaw;usg=afqjcnhz_vxtzatbsgnwqvma6mle7ytrgq;sig2=vgy1kolisfzsqoucutlygw;bvm.
Anxiety. May be more of an issue than cardiac risk. Please have your doc check you out and when cleared a clinical psychologist can help w/anxiety management. Please remember than many people who have relatives who died of cardiac disease live long and health lives, I'm one of them.