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Old 05-25-08, 06:32 AM   #1
speedlever
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Coronary considerations

In case you don't subscribe to RoadBikeRider, there's a very good article in the current issue dealing with coronary issues... which is probably appropriate for the 50+ forum.

Check out the article (scroll down to the item titled as above)

http://www.roadbikerider.com/currentissue.htm
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Old 05-25-08, 12:52 PM   #2
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This is an extremely interesting first person account.

That the "healthy" part of the heart has enough capacity to "mask" the diseased or impeded parts is a eye opening perspective.
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Old 05-25-08, 02:23 PM   #3
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This is an extremely interesting first person account.

That the "healthy" part of the heart has enough capacity to "mask" the diseased or impeded parts is a eye opening perspective.
On that account- Similar situation to mine. I was preparing for a big ride and training going hard and well. Had been biking for 9 years and was probably the fittest I had been for years. Then BANG- severe angina attack with no warning whatsoever. 3 months later and triple bypass. That was 9 years ago and the Reconditioned heart still going strong. Just a pity about the rest of the body.

No matter how fit you are- how you feel or what actions you take to ward off problems. If you have a heart problem- you may not know about it- till it lets you know you have a problem.
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Old 05-25-08, 07:10 PM   #4
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Similar experience! Summer or '06 I did the Bike Tour of Colorado, and a fast hard ride from Montreal to Portland Me. I could ride with and best 30 year olds. I was 60. Last spring during an training ride after a chest cold that lingered, I noticed a mid chest burn. At first I thought that it was related to the chest cold, but it reoccured on the next ride. I got checked out with my primary M.D. He sent me to a cardiologist. Diagnosis cloged coronary artery. Im on meds now and my last stress test was improved. I can ride long, but not as hard. From what I am reading on Bike forums, I was very lucky to get a warning, the way I had been hammering. My cholesterol had been a little high, but I was not on a statin. I have great family history and I thought that genetics was on my side. Getting old is tough on my head, but I gurss that it is better than not. Be tuned in to your body. Don't take your cardiac health for granted. Good Luck
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Old 05-26-08, 07:55 AM   #5
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I'm also a tripple bypass rider. Mine was 2002 and have been in very good health since. It certainly was a wakeup.
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Old 05-28-08, 07:22 PM   #6
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>If you have a heart problem- you may not know about it- till it lets you know you have a problem.<

which is why coronary CT can be such a valuable screening exam.
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Old 05-28-08, 08:17 PM   #7
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>If you have a heart problem- you may not know about it- till it lets you know you have a problem.<

which is why coronary CT can be such a valuable screening exam.
My wife, (RN in a cath lab at the local hospital) tells me that the coronary CT is still new and not as accurate as the heart cath. But the heart cath apparently has certain risk issues associated with it.

Since us 50+ers need to have a colonoscopy after age 50, looks like we should also have some sort of check for heart issues too.
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Old 05-28-08, 08:33 PM   #8
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The link isn't current any longer. Why don't just cut and paste content here?
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Old 05-28-08, 08:53 PM   #9
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The link isn't current any longer. Why don't just cut and paste content here?
Sorry... didn't realize the link would go cold as quickly as it did. I am not a premium member so I can't go to the archives and search for the reprint. Maybe someone else can do that.
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Old 05-30-08, 06:41 AM   #10
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>My wife, (RN in a cath lab at the local hospital) tells me that the coronary CT is still new and not as accurate as the heart cath. But the heart cath apparently has certain risk issues associated with it.<

your wife is largely correct.

noncontrast calcium scoring CT is an indirect indicator of stenosis while cath is a direct indicator of stenosis.

contrast coronary CT is a direct indicator of stenosis, in some studies has been as accurate as cath, and is way less expensive. however cath is still considered the gold standard.

both CT exams have way, way less associated morbidity and mortality than cath.

the CT exams themselves are not that new, but, they are not widely known and it has not been fully established how they should integrate with lipid profiles and other factors.
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Old 05-30-08, 09:53 AM   #11
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Oh cripes! something else to worry about. I'm 55 with low BP and a resting heart rate around 52. I've got pin up quality cholesterol. I did do one of those LifeLine Screens a couple of years ago with ultra sound(?) and it came back fine. Am I supposed to be concerned about dropping dead on the bike during an 18 % climb?
Although, not a bad way to go now that i think about it......
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Old 05-30-08, 10:48 AM   #12
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snip*
Am I supposed to be concerned about dropping dead on the bike during an 18 % climb?
Although, not a bad way to go now that i think about it......
Probably not right away... maybe in 50 or 60 years.

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Old 05-30-08, 02:00 PM   #13
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Probably not right away... maybe in 50 or 60 years.

That nay be just enough time to get the things done that i would like to.
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Old 05-30-08, 04:06 PM   #14
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Am I supposed to be concerned about dropping dead on the bike during an 18 % climb?
I think I might drop dead just thinking about an 18% climb.
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Old 05-30-08, 05:30 PM   #15
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Had one heart attack in '94, angioplasty that the doctors screwed up & all that, what fun.

Now I ask the doctor "shouldn't I have my heart checked regularly?" What I get for an answer is "do you have any chest pain?, with all the riding you do your heart must be ok"

Waiting for the big one.

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Old 05-30-08, 05:38 PM   #16
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Ok, I hope I'm not putting something up I shouldn't but here is the main part of the article.



The Heart of the Matter

Last edited by brucewiley; 05-30-08 at 05:42 PM. Reason: copy and paste didn't work
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Old 05-30-08, 10:43 PM   #17
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If my blood pressure is pretty normal (120/70) is it safe to assume that pretty much nothing is wrong with my heart or veins?
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Old 05-31-08, 12:17 AM   #18
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If my blood pressure is pretty normal (120/70) is it safe to assume that pretty much nothing is wrong with my heart or veins?
It is not safe to presume anything. Cholesterol build up is something you will not notice. Yearly checks can keep an eye on that, but How do you know you need the yearly checks? I had never had a chest pain in my life and it came on in the space of about 5 minutes when the problem did occur. And a good friend of mine had all the checks when I had my bypass. Two years later and he died of a heart attack.
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Old 05-31-08, 04:47 AM   #19
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Had a Quadruple Bypass in March 04 following a year or so of angina off and on.....I was able to peddle up and down th street in front of my house three weeks after surgery. One year after surgery we did a 3 day 200 mile ride of Outer Banks. Everything going great now. .......at 62.
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Old 05-31-08, 10:03 AM   #20
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Chances are, if you're going to suddenly get a fatal heart attack without any previous warning, you would probably have it anyway even if you weren't cycling or exercising. So, I wouldn't avoid cycling (assuming you have clearance from your MD to exercise). It can only help make your heart and cardiovascular system better so you have a chance at surviving it. On the other hand, people shouldn't assume they are 25 year old pro racing team members just because they happened to buy a Madone or a Tarmac. Take it easy and pace yourself. Stay away from cycling forums if you can't sort through all the pseudo-racing century-every-other-day and climb-the-Alps-on-weekends baloney. There's lots of evidence that moderate exercise is better overall. Put your saddle back a little (get a shorter higher stem if necessary - shorter to maintain the proper reach, higher to lessen the bend at the waist because you moved the saddle back), and enjoy the rides. The people who feel they have to race around all the time probably won't last, but even if they do, are they really enjoying this? Aren't they just being the same on a bike as they are in their car?

No, having good blood pressure is no guarantee. High blood pressure is a risk factor over a long period of time, but neither lower or higher blood pressure guarantee anything. Neither does cholesterol.
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Old 05-31-08, 05:26 PM   #21
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I have a long story (and history at 59!) but I had a heart attack playing hockey at 43. Medicine in '92 is not what it is now. Damaged my heart. Angioplasty got rid of problem after the fact. An old bike racer, I am. From the late 60's and early 70's in California. Gave up racing after moving to Minnesota - 6 months of winter takes some of the fun out of cycling. X-country ski racer. Gave up biking after a couple of years more riding in the 80's.

Got 5 dogs to walk. For the past 8 years I've been walking or snowshoeing all year-round 5 to 6 days-a-week. Got a new bike last month: Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29er. Put some nice clipless pedals on it. Between walks I've been hitting some superb, hilly MTB trails just a mile from my house. Today, I felt a tiny bit of the old speed and power. I got on top of an shockingly small gear and got out over those big wheels and sprinted up a short hill near my house. Man, that felt good!

I've laid some ground work before pushing myself, but I really am not worried about my heart. It really doesn't do any good unless someone is willing to take a look inside. I've had about 6 angiograms, and my cardiac output has steadily improved. They haven't told me it is getting worse, anyway. I'm close to 60, and if I can enjoy a bike ride like I did today, I'm willing to take a few chances.
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Old 06-01-08, 04:20 PM   #22
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If my blood pressure is pretty normal (120/70) is it safe to assume that pretty much nothing is wrong with my heart or veins?
absolutely not.

you should still practice a healthy lifestyle (exercise, normal weight, no smoking, etc.), have regular physical exams, and monitor your cholesterol per your doctor's recommendation based on your individual profile.

even with all that, we are still talking about probabilities and indirect indicators.
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