Strong family history

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2003
Strong family history
Tue, 09-30-2003 - 2:40pm
Hello, my father died from a heart attack at the age of 40. I am very worried about how that affects me. The autopsy report said that he also had high cholesterol and high blood pressure. He also didn't go for routine physicals and smoked heavily. I am 34 years old. In my 20's I mentioned this to my PCPs and they basically ignored me. For some reason they fixated on his smoking and said I don't smoke therefore I'm not at risk. Of course that's ludicrous. I then had several children (and unfortunately miscarriages) and sort of got sidetracked about the heart issue. Now I'm 34 and have a new PCP with whom I'm scheduled to have an appointment in a few weeks. I know that I need to assert myself and have my risk evaluated, I'm just not sure how. i.e. I have no idea what tests would be appropriate,etc. Currently, I've lost 61 lbs (still want to lose about 20 more to be the "ideal"), exercise regularly, don't drink, don't smoke, and eat mostly natural foods (eat as few processed foods as possible). The part that scares me is this having no impact on my blood pressure and cholesterol. My blood pressure has remained exactly the same (138/80) and my cholesterol is still @ 203 (can't remember the "bad" vs "good" number). Sorry to ramble, but would greatly appreciate any advice/input.
Avatar for themummy2001
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2003
Tue, 09-30-2003 - 5:44pm
Hi, Ellie 1987, and welcome to the board!

Well, you're certainly doing all the right things for yourself! And since you'll be seeing a new PCP, ask him/her to book you for a full cardiac work-up....and explain that your father died at a young age of heart problems and you're trying to avoid that!!!! Your cholesterol isn't bad, but it isn't optimal (depends on what the HDL and LDL and triglyceride levels are!)....there's meds that can lower cholesterol if your doc believes you need help with that aspect. Also, although your BP isn't bad, it's not optimal either...ask your doc about that as well! Things like cholesterol and BP etc. also could be genetic....I have that problem....all of my ancestors and all of my siblings have high cholesterol and (usually) high BP (I'm the only one with a "normal" BP!). so the genetics aspect is something else your new PCP might want to investigate! Go to your first appointment with your new doc armed with as much information about your family's background health-wise as you can! Post often and let us know how you're doing, okay? And also what your new doc had to say. By the way, a full cardiac work-up is pretty easy and usually NOT an invasive's things like EKG's, perhaps a stress test, blood tests, etc. Don't worry about the tests themselves! :0)

Welcoming (((hugs))),


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2003
Wed, 10-01-2003 - 10:46am
Hi there, Ellie 1987. Let me add my welcome, too.

Linda had several good points. Be prepared for your PCP w/a list of questions. When is your appointment?

Unfortunately there are still doctors out there who easily dismiss women's health concerns - especially young women. Be persistent in getting answers to your questions.

Please keep us posted.



Avatar for terry1224
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2003
Fri, 10-03-2003 - 4:00pm

Please speak up ask for a EKG,Stress echo cardio gram and a thiallium stress test. It is also gentic with me and I am the Support Network Coordinator for Women Health here in Jax. also you can log on to their website too at and read up on it. You need a cardio not a PCP and take nothing lying down speak up be vocal they theink it is our in our head. Also get the Book Women Arenot small men by Dr. Neica Goldberg. I have heart disease9CAD) anginia, and thyroid problems too and I am speaking out 1 in 2 ladies will die of heart disease and also get it and it is our number 1 killer more than breast cancer and that is a very close second too. but please speak up and get these tests my friend.