Avatar universal

weak heart and sport

I'm a woman of 41. My maternal grandfather died at 67 of his fourth heart attack and my mother at 65 had a surgery 1,5 years ago in which she had 3 bypasses installed. She feels well now, but remembering how hard the operation and rehabilitation was for her I hope I won't have to go through it or die of a heart attack as early as sixty-something.

My ECG results have never showed anything more serious than heart beating too fast. Blood pressure used to be low in school before I started drinking coffee etc.; now it's in the higher range of normal, but still usually OK. Recently I had a cholersterol check and it showed 200, although the good/bad cholesterol ratio was favorable and tryglicerides low.

However, I seem to have had a heart problem as a child of about 6. I remember having ECG done a few times, but my parents are unable to tell me what it was the doctors suspected. My father only remembers they said it would be a serious problem if I were and adult, but in a child it's not so worrying. Anyway it either passed or wasn't proven because the visits stopped.

I've always had quite high pulse (70-80), even as a teenager. Besides that I remember one particularly scary situation in my life when I was about 25 and after a tiresome trek in the mountains I got under hot shower and almost fainted. It took all my strenght to get out of the cabin and get dressed, and after washing my face with cold water I was able to go outside and after a few minutes of breathing fresh air finally felt OK. I still don't know what happened in that shower, but I feel if I hadn't managed to get out I could have stayed there forever. As it was, the next morning I was absolutely well and ready to trek again.

How should I approach sport activities? In my youth I rather avoided sports. Now I swim, jog, bike-ride, skate. I wonder whether all sports are good for the heart and how much depends on regularity. What else I can do to prevent heart disease? I'm slim.
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Avatar universal
Summarizing your information -- you are 41 year old NON-obese female who has family history of premature coronary disease on mother's side. You have "normal" cholesterol (don't have exact numbers).  You have had overall normal heart history although as a child you had multiple ECGs and your current heart rate is normal (70-80s should be considered normal).

I think your risk of heart disease is low overall, but of course there are more you can do to further reduce the risk.  I would recommend the following - 1. IF you smoke, STOP.  2.  Increase your cardiovascular fitness by doing more exercise -- does not have to be strenuous exercise, but make sure you do so frequently and heart rate is above 100.  3. Watch your cholesterol, get a high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) checked -- according to the JUPITOR trial, IF your CRP is elevated, you could benefit from statins (e.g. rosuvastatin) even if you have "normal" cholesterol.  
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Avatar universal
Thanks a lot for your answer. I don't smoke. Overall cholesterol 200, HDL 63 LDL 120, triglycerides 80. Thanks especially for the information on hs CRP, as I didn't know about such a test.
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