Q. I suffered heart attack recently, what should I do to avoid further attacks? A. The risk of suffering another attack can be reduced by including  regular exercise and keeping your weight under control. Lifestyle changes, giving up smoking and regular use of prescribed medication too can help substantially in effective management of the condition.

Q. My doctor advised me to take aspirin. How long do I need to take it and why? A. Aspirin lessens clotting of blood by inhibiting the aggregation of platelets. It has been observed that long term use of aspirin can reduce the risk as well as severity of further attacks, chances of stroke and cardiovascular death.

Q. Is it safe to continue with my normal sex life after having suffered a heart attack ? A. You can enjoy your normal sex life but after 4-5 weeks.

  1. Can heart attack occur without chest pain ? A. Yes, heart attack may occur without chest pain (Painless infarction). The chances of having painless heart attacks is increased in diabetics and elderly people.
  2. I am having angina after relatively less exertion nowadays, what should I do ? A. You should consult your physician for cardiac evaluation as your angina may be worsening.
  3. What should be the level of bad and good cholesterol and how can it be achieved? A. Ideally level of bad (LDL) cholesterol should be below 100 mg/dl and good (HDL) cholesterol should be above 60 mg/dl respectively. This can be achieved by diet planning, regular exercise and use of lipid lowering drugs.

Q. I frequently have upper abdominal discomfort. Could it be related to use of aspirin? A. Although aspirin may cause upper abdominal discomfort and pain it’s better to consult your doctor for proper evaluation as it could be anginal pain. The discomfort and pain caused by aspirin usually improves on taking enteric coated tablets, antacid and H2 receptor blocker drugs.

  1. Is this true that alcohol can protect one from heart disease? A. There are studies that indicate that mild alcohol consumption (2-3 pegs/day) may have a protective effect by increasing the good (HDL) cholesterol level and and reducing clotting tendency of the blood. But this point should not overemphasized considering the fact that exercise, reduction of obesity and aspirin are better alternatives. Heavy drinking, on the other hand is associated with high blood pressure, high calorie intake leading to obesity and adverse cardiac events.