Cardiovascular Health

What is the prognosis for CAD?

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December 09, 2007 11:02PM

I'm 39 years old and I had a heart attack 11 months ago. I was "lucky" in that there was not significant damage to my heart muscle. As far as the prognosis, it's hard to say. It seems that things could go either way. I may live to be 80 or I may die in the next few minutes. The uncertainty is difficult to live with. The main thing I've gathered from reading and talking with my doctor is that if I can avoid another event there's no reason why I can't live to be an old man. That means making drastic changes in diet. Changes that make it difficult to eat out at restaurants or even at a relatives house. Most people really don't understand that CAD is an incurable disease and that you're never really quite out of danger. You have to be careful not to do anything that might cause inflammation that could rupture plaque, causing a blockage, and a heart attack. It also means regular, vigorous exercise on most days of the week. It gets very tiresome, I can tell you. Some days, you just don't think you can face the treadmill again. It helps to have someone around to encourage and support you. An exercise partner would be ideal. I tend to exercise at home rather than outside on the streets, just in case something were to happen. I'd hate to be found dead on the sidewalk. I'm not sure this answer helps. It's difficult to be very upbeat about having heart disease at my age. It would have been a lot easier if I had been one of the lucky ones who just dies in his sleep and never knows anything.