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Question
Posted by: Joy | 2012-02-01

follow-up question on septum aneurysm

Hello Dr - thanks for all the details you gave to my post (number 38 septum aneurysm). I''m just curious - you mentioned holes in the heart and strokes, - both my mom and my gran on my mothers side ended up having strokes (at first small ones I think they were called TIA) - could this heart thing I''ve got be hereditary, and there any other types of symptoms if I did have a hole in the heart as you described (other than a stroke - i''d notice that one!).

One last question: I heard a talk given by a very reputable South African nutritionist and she suggested taking very high doses of Omega 3 fatty acids to amongst other things protect the heart, arteries and brain - is this a good Idea - it it possible to take too much?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCardiologist

Hi Joy,

Atrial septal aneurysms to my knowledge are not hereditary, and of course we should bear in mind that they are rare causes of stroke. Most strokes, especially strokes which occur later in life, are due to vascular disease or atrial fibrillation, so it would be worth trying to establish the cause of your mother’s and your grandmother’s strokes.

Small holes in the heart (“patent foramen ovale”) and atrial septal aneurysms cause no chronic symptoms whatsoever, and their importance is only in relation to the small risk that they may cause stroke.

There is a considerable body of evidence that Omega 3 fatty acids help to protect the health of arteries, eg the coronary arteries and the cerebral arteries. However, there is no evidence that I know of that very high doses of Omega 3 fatty acids are any more protective than standard doses.

We should also bear in mind that people at low risk for vascular disease, eg young women, are hardly likely to benefit from treatments such as Omega 3 fatty acids because their risk is low anyway. If I was young and female, didn’t smoke, had a normal blood pressure and was physically active, I would save my money!

Best wishes, JT.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Cardiologist | 2012-02-27

Hi Joy,

Atrial septal aneurysms to my knowledge are not hereditary, and of course we should bear in mind that they are rare causes of stroke. Most strokes, especially strokes which occur later in life, are due to vascular disease or atrial fibrillation, so it would be worth trying to establish the cause of your mother’s and your grandmother’s strokes.

Small holes in the heart (“patent foramen ovale”) and atrial septal aneurysms cause no chronic symptoms whatsoever, and their importance is only in relation to the small risk that they may cause stroke.

There is a considerable body of evidence that Omega 3 fatty acids help to protect the health of arteries, eg the coronary arteries and the cerebral arteries. However, there is no evidence that I know of that very high doses of Omega 3 fatty acids are any more protective than standard doses.

We should also bear in mind that people at low risk for vascular disease, eg young women, are hardly likely to benefit from treatments such as Omega 3 fatty acids because their risk is low anyway. If I was young and female, didn’t smoke, had a normal blood pressure and was physically active, I would save my money!

Best wishes, JT.

Reply to Cardiologist

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