Heart attack

My Heart Attack

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Heart Disease Genetic link being missed

 The following news item was featured in BBC Breakfast this morning. The following is taken from the BBC News website:

Genetic link to high cholestrol is being missed

'About 100,000 patients have not been tested for a preventable form of heart disease in the UK, according to an audit of the NHS.
Familial hypercholosterolaemia is genetic; when people are diagnosed, their families should be tested.
The audit of nearly 2,500 patients by the Royal College of Physicians found that very few relations were being screened, especially in England.
The British Heart Foundation said it was frustrating and unacceptable.
Around 500 people in the UK have familial hypercholesterolaemia, which causes hight levels of “bad” cholestrol (LDL) in the blood.
If it is not treated then half of men develop heart disease before they are 55 and a third of women by the time they are 60.
Taking cholestrol-lowering drugs, statins, and living a healthier lifestyle do reduce the risk to normal levels.
Because of the genetic nature of the disease, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends DNA and cholestrol tests for family members, but the study says this is not happening everywhere.'

My grandparents had heart disease. I am pretty sure my grandmother (on my mother's side) had heart problems, and I am sure that she died of a heart attack. My mother had a stroke, and had angina in the later years of her life (although she never talked to us about any of her ailments. Well, parents in those days never discussed these sorts of things with their children.) She eventually died of a heart attack. This was almost exactly 30 years ago. So I know that I must have inherited my heart problems. My doctor kept an eye on my health, with regards to my family history of heart disease. So it was really no surprise when I had my heart attack in May 2006. I was told to cut down on fatty foods, which I did. I went over to drinking semi-skimmed milk and using low fat spreads and attempting, wherever possible, to always choose the lower-fat option when eating foods. 

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