It’s never too soon

No-one ever thinks they will get impacted by Heart Disease.  We live in blissful ignorance until one day, if they’re lucky, they get a “warning”, a “wake up call”.

Many aren’t that lucky.

In 2010, over 45,000 people under the age of 75 died of Heart Disease in the UK.

That’s certainly how it was for me.  I was bullet-proof.  Until I wasn’t.

Once a week, the Cardiac Rehabilitation sessions have an hour of education.  I consider this the “Community Service” session, where I do the time for the crimes I’ve committed in the past.  The same crimes as many people, but I got caught!

This morning we talked about the anatomy of the heart.  We covered much of the same ground when I was in hospital (see “You are what you eat“).  I’ve had 5 weeks to think about what I could or should have asked… our questions and concerns were on a completely different level back then.

What I learnt today…

atheroma_zoom1

  • The reason why atheroma builds up in some arteries and not others is not known
  • The build up can start early (in your teenage years)
  • Once it’s there, there’s nothing that can be done to reverse the build-up of atheroma
  • It can only get worse, not better (drugs can help reduce the associated risk, but don’t reverse the build-up either)
  • The only way of assessing the build-up is by performing an angiogram which itself carries a risk of 1 death in 1,000 from Heart Attack or Stroke
  • Prevention is the best strategy
  • It’s too late for me to adopt this strategy (but I knew that already!)

What’s happened to me could happen to anyone.  It’s never too soon to become aware.  Never too soon to take evasive action.

I know it doesn’t seem real, particularly if you’re young, fit and healthy.  It won’t.  Until it is.  And then it’s too late.

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