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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I prevent heart attacks?

    I’ve got a family history of a heart attack. My father died at 52, How do I ensure it won’t happen to me?
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  • Dr Stephen Fenton

    Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

    Dr Fenton is a highly regarded general and preventative adult cardiologist. He has extensive training and experience in acute and emergency cardiac conditions, preventative cardiology, ... View Profile

    It is very unfortunate that your father died at the age of 52. Sadly, not uncommonly, the first manifestation of heart disease is a fatal heart attack. The cause of the heart attack is in nearly every case a build-up of fatty material called plaque, which cracks or bursts like a small pimple and this results in a blood clot or ‘thrombus’ forming which occludes the coronary artery. The heart muscle is immediately injured and if the situation is not rectified the heart muscle dies. This triggers a potentially dangerous rhythm called ventricular fibrillation, which is fatal if not treated immediately. If you have a family history of heart attack, the best thing is to have a check with a preventative cardiologist for early detection of plaque or “atherosclerosis”. This is a very simple matter to organise with non-invasive painless testing.

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