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Are these considered Risk Factors ?

(1) I understand that Stress is listed as a risk factor for potential heart trouble, however the term "Stress" has a broad meaning.  When this is referred to as a risk factor, does that pertain to the Type A personality, always uptight individual, as opposed to someone like me that is treating for anxiety/panic disorder?  I'm normally laid back, not Type A at all, but I have this demon called panic disorder that I tame with meds and therapy.  Would I fall into the "Stress risk factor ?"

(2) As far as family history, they usually ask if a parent had a MI or stroke before age 60.  My Dad had a TIA at age 72, no lasting effects, and treated successfully with carotid surgery.  At age 77, he had heart block, and again treated successfully with a pacemaker and doing well 1 year later.  No MI, no full stroke, no angina......is this still considered a family risk factor for me?  Thanks-Jerry
1 Responses
74076 tn?1189759432
Hi Jerry,

Stress is considered a risk factor.  Stress is thought to include type A personalities, anxiety disorders, panic disorders, as well as just general stress.  It probably stems from increased adrenaline levels among other normal responses to stress.  This is an area that is not well studied but certainly is data showing an increased risk.

Family history is generally considered a first degree relative (mother, father, brother, sister) that has a heart attack before age 55 in men and 65 in women.  Based on what you wrote above, you do not have family history of heart disease.

If you are worried about heart disease--try to focus on modifiable risk factors.  Don't smoke, don't smoke, don't smoke!  Watch your weight, exercise, treat any high blood pressure and diabetes aggressively with medication and lifestyle changes and manage your stress the best that you can.

I hope this helps
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