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Why did I develop another coronary occlusion in spite of all my precautions? 

I am 62 and have 3 stents, the first 2 were implanted 11 years ago. Since then I have recently had a stent implanted in my left anterior descending artery which was 90% occluded. This developed during the 11 years when I had the first cath. For those 11 years, I did everything right yet this artery still closed. I am highly collateralized, not overweight, eat right, exercise (I am in the 95 percentile for my age), take a statin and aspirin. I was an athlete all of my life and played soccer into my late 40s. I bike 3 times a week for 90 minutes and kayak often. My mother and brother both died of heart disease at age 43. Why did I develop another severe occlusion in spite of all the care?

submitted by Robert from Warrington, Pennsylvania on 11/30/2012


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

Congratulations on your very healthy lifestyle! It has undoubtedly contributed to the long period of time between events. Unfortunately, coronary artery disease (the tendency to grow blockages) is often only ameliorated by all our current therapies including aggressive control of risk factors. Some factors, especially genetic ones, cannot (yet) be eliminated. Please do not become discouraged. In addition to the treatments you are currently utilizing, regular follow-up and screening can help you detect issues before they become irreversible. Also, ongoing research continues to produce novel treatments including resorbable stents and stem cell therapy just to name 2 on the immediate horizon. Finally, the course of CAD is quite variable, not only from person to person but for any individual over time. You may have another issue in a year or remain quiescent for decades.
I hope the information is useful even though I recognize that it is not 100% cheerful.

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Updated December 2012
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