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Is it too late to reverse the problems I'm having and be able to live a longer life? 

My father died at 29 yrs old.  Two out of his three brothers died of heart failure before they reached 40 yrs. I have a 45 yr old sister that suffered a heart attack at 19 and then again in 1996 during labor with her third child. I also have a 40 yr old brother who suffered a heart attack last year. Both of my siblings survived. My first born son died because his heart couldn't work on its own.  He was full term and 2 days old. I have 2 other children, a son 20 yrs and a daughter 13yrs.  Both have heart murmurs. I have been diagnosed with tachycardia, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. I am 25 lbs overweight, smoke, do not have a very active life and I have been experiencing shortness of breath. It's like I can't take a deep breath. I have been referred to a cardiologist but I'm scared of what they will say. I want to know with this small amount of history and my symptoms, is it too late to reverse the problems I'm having and be able to live a longer life? I'm so stressed out because I don't want to die. What do I do?

submitted by Mirand from Bullard on 1/18/2012


by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Scott R. Sherron, MD  

Scott R. Sherron, MDYou certainly have a lot of familial risk factors and the symptoms you describe may be cardiac.  However, heart disease presents in many different ways and depending on the exact nature of your disease, lots of different treatments may be available.  The most dangerous thing you could do is delay or avoid seeing a cardiologist out of fear of the findings. Nothing will give you a better chance of reversing problems that you have and/or preventing future problems than finding out what, if anything, is wrong with your heart and finding out your treatment options. With the right treatments, medications, and life-style changes, you may be able to survive a long time. Good luck! 

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Updated January 2012
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