...is that we're so good at treating it. People feel so well after their heart attack or stent that they go back to their old bad habits.
I went to visit my patient who is recovering from bypass surgery. He has an inherited lipid disorder, so his cholesterol and triglycerides are much higher than normal people. On top of that, he smokes a pack and a half of cigarettes each day.
At age 35, he had a heart attack. We put a stent in, and he felt better. We told him to quit smoking. He didn't. At 38, he came back with more chest pain. His first stent was clogged and he had a new narrowing of a different coronary artery. So we put a new stent in and opened up the old stent. He continued to smoke. Now at age 40, he had more pain, and last Friday he had bypass surgery.
I told him that now he has to quit smoking. Absolutely has to quit. If he doesn't quit, his bypasses will become blocked or he'll die. NOW he's more motivated and has found some help from nicotine patches.
Remember this: We may inherit bad things that put us at higher risk of heart disease. However, we control our own destiny. Through exercise, not smoking, and eating well, including a well-balanced vegan diet, we can stay healthy for a long time.