Cardiac arrest can happen to whom we think are the healthiest of people. But we have to remember cardiac arrest does not discriminate on who it effects. When we think of someone who will or has suffered from cardiac arrest, we think of the visual things. From being overweight and out of shape to someone who takes many different heart medications or someone who smokes and someone who is a very stressful. Who we don’t think about is that person who eats healthy or appears to be in great shape and takes care of their body while living a happy and healthy life as someone who will suffer from cardiac arrest. While someone who appears to be in great shape on the outside may have some very dangerous problems going on inside. Whether its from congenital heart problems or heredity conditions those are keys reasons a healthy person can suffer from sudden cardiac arrest. Some conditions are cardiac amyloidosis, cardiac myxoma, familial dilated cardiomyopathy and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
In the case of the Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper, having a high level of particles in his blood known as lipoprotein is what caused him to go into cardiac arrest. Lipoprotein(a), is a particle in your blood which carries cholesterol, fats and proteins. The amount your body makes is inherited from one or both parents and is determined by the genes passed on from your parent(s) when you are born. It does not change very much during your lifetime except if you are a women, levels increase as the natural estrogen level declines with menopause. Diet and exercise seems to have little to no impact on the lipoprotein(a) level.
There are many things that can help prevent cardiac arrest but then there are some things you cannot change. The important things are to be able to recognize what the signs and symptoms of a heart attack are and know what to do when someone suffers cardiac arrest. Below is a link to People Magazine. Bob Harper talks briefly about his experience in suffering cardiac arrest and the minor symptom that started the chain to his sudden cardiac arrest. If you have a family history of hereditary heart conditions it is important to get tested and to stay in close contact with your primary care physician regarding annual tests and treatment. It’s better to be aware and prepared about conditions then it is to be surprised and react to cardiac arrest.
Future posts will go over signs and symptoms of cardiac related chest pain.