Do you “deserve” to get heart disease?

Why did I get heart disease while some other people, living a lifestyle of heart-abuse and in denial, escape?

Your reactions deserve attention

I am fit, healthy, young and careful what I eat. I am slim and have never smoked. I take statins and exercise regularly. I am very sociable and tackle low moods with yoga, music, walking and meditation.

Despite all this and probably due to my genes, I needed heart surgery to overcome a 98% blocked coronary artery.

  • Did I “deserve” it?

Would you?

  • With your current lifestyle, do you “deserve” your healthy heart?
  • Or are you fortunate to not have heart troubles?

Which side of this table do you relate to more?


Your thought/reaction

Your thought/reaction

I’m healthy and fit

I am not as healthy as I could be

Could it happen to me?

I wonder why it happened to her and not me

I’ve seen articles about women and heart disease. She’s a living example

I didn’t think females under 50 were at risk of heart disease

She has a family history. I wonder what my family history is?

Nobody in my family has heart disease so I’m OK

Should I see my doctor for some tests?

I don’t have any symptoms, so I’m fine

What more can I do to reduce my risk?

I could lose a bit of weight

I exercise a bit, that’s enough

She likes salty food but had normal blood pressure. How does that work?

I have high blood pressure; should I do something?

If she had a bad diet, this might have happened sooner or she could have actually died

She got heart disease despite her healthy diet. I may as well eat whatever I like because it makes no difference

She never eats much processed or packaged food

And she’s vegetarian! No benefit in that obviously

She’s not diabetic, that’s lucky

I am borderline diabetic. I don’t think diabetes and heart health are linked

She was very sociable. She did many different exercise classes so she had a wide range of friends

I don’t have many friends to go out with. I prefer to stay at home.

She rarely drank alcohol

Isn’t red wine good for your heart?

She didn’t  like fried food and she was vegetarian

Cholesterol doesn’t matter

It could have been worse if she’d not been on statins

Statins obviously had no effect on her

She knew the signs of angina, do I?

What’s angina?

Thank goodness I don’t smoke/gave up nicotine

I know people who’ve smoked for decades and never got heart disease. A few cigarettes won’t matter.

Vaping and nicotine gum/patches/spray are better than smoking, so my heart will be fine.

I mustn’t feel “complacently content”

It was her genes. Mine are fine

If you identified mostly with the right-hand column, you might want to re-evaluate your lifestyle and attitude. You should read the links at the end of this post.

If you were more inclined to the left-hand column, then that’s better. But don’t stop there. Follow up on your doubts and find answers to your questions.

The quiz won’t predict anything. It won’t say that you “deserve” heart disease. It’s just an informal way to check your attitude.

The information in this post is not intended as a substitute for medical attention. See your doctor for professional medical advice.

Does your heart “deserve” it?

There are 2 types of risks for getting heart disease; those you have to accept and those you can modify.

Risks you have to accept:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity (family history)
  • Genetics (family history)

Risks you can control:

  • Smoking
  • Being inactive
  • Isolation and depression
  • Diabetes (blood sugar)
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood cholesterol
  • Diet
  • Body weight

Who deserves heart disease?

Before my heart operation, I had all my modifiable risk factors under control. I thought my heart was safe.

So, who deserves heart disease?

Obviously, nobody “deserves” it.

I had plenty of time to think when I was waiting for my operation. I examined every facet of my lifestyle for where I went wrong. When I realised that the only risk was my genetics, I felt better.

Knowing there was nothing more I could have done to prevent heart disease meant that

  • I did not “deserve” it
  • It was not my “fault”
  • I had nothing to regret.

Would you feel the same way?

References

Some websites explaining the heart disease risk factors

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/basics/risk-factors/con-20034056

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/heart-disease-risk-factors

http://heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/know-your-risks/risk-factors

Share your thoughts!

  • Were you surprised by your reactions?
  • Are you in denial about your risk?
  • Do you need to make any changes and WILL you change?
  • Is there a concept of “fairness” or “deserving” when it comes to health?
  • Did you know? The Australian Heart Foundation has removed STRESS as a heart risk factor. Why would they do that?

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2 thoughts on “Do you “deserve” to get heart disease?

  1. I don’t understand (as a doctor) why STRESS would be removed as a risk factor associated with heart disease. A correlation can exist between endocrine imbalances (elevated stress hormones) and cardiac function. It doesn’t have to directly be causative to influence cardiac disease. It is my opinion the Australian Heart Foundation is missing a critical component affecting countless lives with their removal of stress as a risk factor.

    Liked by 1 person

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