Posted by: Toeske | 2011-09-26

Should I worry?

Dear Doc
I am a female, 44 years, a bit overweight, I don''t drink, don''t smoke and eat very healthy (had my first child 6 months ago!). My dad passed away 3 months ago from his heart, he had a huge heart bypass and was just never the same after that and died suddenly. I have this extreme fear of also getting a bad heart. I have been diagnosed a couple of months ago by my home dr, of costochindritis (not sure about spelling). My chest middle bone is very sore when I press on it. Then I get now and then a stabbing ache through my shoulder blade. I feel quite a lot dizzy lately (my blood pressure was normal at my dr 3 weeks ago, has always been normal). My left arm aches " inside the bone" , also very sore when I press on the bone. My dr did a stress ECG and said all is fine, nothing that she can pick up on ECG. I am just so scared that all that feels wrong, could be early warning signs of a heart problem. What do you think Dr?

I appreciate your reply.
Thanks so much.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCardiologist

Hi Toeske,

The symptoms you describe are not those of heart disease and sound as though they are “musculo-skeletal”, ie they are related to the cartilage or the bone or the muscles or ligaments of the chest wall – not the heart!

Also you should remember that being a young woman before menopause your chances of a heart attack at this stage of your life are extremely low. Your father, on the other hand, was a man in his 60’s or thereabouts and therefore at very much higher risk.

You can be 100% certain that the symptoms you are experiencing are not from your heart and that you are not in the same category as your father!

Of course it is sensible as you get older to reduce your coronary risk as much as you can, particularly when you yourself get into your 60’s or 70’s. So you should do what everybody should do, ie have your cholesterol checked, have your blood pressure checked from time to time, eat sensibly, exercise regularly, watch you weight, and do not smoke.
I hope this is helpful.
Best wishes, JT

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