Have any of you had a heart attack?

Hello everyone,

I’m trying to learn more about the link between Type 2 diabetes and heart attacks. About half of all people who experience a heart attack also suffer from diabetes. Some people are aware they have diabetes before the heart attack; others do not find out until or after the heart attack occurs.

I’m with a team that is trying to learn more about those who have suffered from a heart attack and who are also Type 2 diabetic. The information we gather is completely confidential, and will be used to further medical research. We’ve created a completely anonymous survey for people like you to take. Just go to http://tinyurl.com/p8yynm to share your input about what it’s like to live with Type 2 diabetes and a heart condition. You’ll also have the opportunity to win a $50 cash card if you chose to share your contact information!

Thank you!

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September 2018: If this topic is still of interest to anyone, I am recovering from a heart attack that hit in early August. One area of interest—I’ve been a very low carber for over a decade–30 carbs or under per day.

Life’s a drag at the moment, but so it goes…

Sorry to read about your recent heart attack, Judith. How are you doing? Have you adopted any new treatments to address this heart issue?

I have an appointment to see a heart doctor later this month. I have high cholesterol and don’t want to take statins. I’m hoping the heart doc orders a coronary artery calcium scan.

I, too, eat a reduced carb diet, though I eat about 60 grams/day. Did you learn anything with this heart attack about how your diet may have mitigated or delayed the event?

It may vary by state, but in my state a person can get a calcium scan without a doctor’s prescription and without insurance, for only $100.

They will do it for you if you meet certain medical profile conditions - such as age, family history of heart issues, diabetes. I think being a diabetic almost guarantees you can get the scan done!

There is only a small amount of radiation, kind of along the same amount as a women gets with a mammogram. And women do those every few years. So there isn’t really much of a reason to not do it.

Check it out for your state, Terry. A walk-in calcium scan for $100 is a great investment. I highly advise it.

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I was diagnosed 10 years ago with very high BG readings, The doctors ran all the scans all the test and stress test and determined that I had not had a previous Heart attack nor previous damage to my heart. No diabetes medications. I have done low carb (30 or less) for 10 years and no heart attack. I am 73 and run 20 miles a week. (Which does not cause or prevent a heart attack)
It would be interesting to compare t2 who do low carb to those who don’t for heart attack issues.

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If I was doing low carb, I would be concerned with the higher fat intake that often goes along with it.

One of the things that can contribute to heart issues with diabetics is high blood sugar.

And one of the things that can contribute to heart issues with everyone is high cholesterol.

Ideally, a diabetic should try to have both good BG and low cholesterol.

I agree, a study on heart issues and low carb would be interesting.

My cholesterol has always been good, I refused statins

The doctor made mt try a statin (all diabetic need one!). I got terrible leg muscle pains etc. for a runner that is not good. I stopped them

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Thanks for the advice regarding the possible opportunity to walk-in and get the test without the order of a doctor. I’m thinking that this test provides direct evidence whether I have athlerosclerosis. The only competitor for the calcium scan is an angiogram, a riskier and much more expensive test.

I’ve invested many hours reading about cholesterol and heart disease. I remain unconvinced that there is any causal link between cholesterol and heart disease.

I read one study that divided a geriatric population into thirds by their cholesterol levels. The researchers then followed this group for many years. Contrary to what one might expect the longest survivors were the third with the highest cholesterol. Next longest living group was the middle third ranked by cholesterol. The low cholesterol group died the soonest. The study did not examine or track the cause of death.

I know this is a contentious issue and I am suspicious of the influence of big money on the whole statin industry.

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There is a bit of confusion on the terms, because either a coronary CTA (computed tomography angiogram) or a cardiac catheterization will both use angiography (which refers to the imaging technique).

So sometimes people automatically think an angiogram means that a catheter is inserted in the blood vessel. But there are different tests that have angiogram in the name.

A coronary CTA (computed tomography angiogram) is just where contrast die is injected and the vessels and heart are X-rayed as a 3D image. It is not invasive.

A cardiac catheterization CTA on the other hand, is where they insert a catheter into the artery. That is the more invasive test!

I think there is some blur on the names that different doctors use. Some may just say CTA, but mean a catheterization. It would be nice if the names were more clear.

So all 3 tests (calcium score, coronary CTA, or cardiac catheterization) will expose you to some radiation.

The CTA (without catheterization) is not invasive, but you need to get die injected and take a nitroglycerin tablet to expend the vessels, and possibly take some medicine to slow your heart rate down a bit if it is beating too fast. If your resting rate is slow enough, you don’t need that.

The cardiac catheterization is invasive - they stick the catheter through the vessel and guide it to the coronary arteries.

In order of the quality of images you get out of the tests, in order of lowest to highest quality of images - calcium score, coronary CTA, or cardiac catheterization.

Here are some good links to explain the difference between a CTA and a cath.

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/16899-coronary-computed-tomography-angiogram

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/16832-cardiac-catheterization

Sorry, you may already know this, but just wanted to give an explanation for anyone who hears about these tests.

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Thanks for the details. I was not aware of the two different kinds of angiograms. I only knew about the one using a catheter.

I also know that the coronary artery calcium scan uses CT or computed tomography.

Yep, it gets confusing with the names!

I think the problem is that some docs will say, “Since you are a diabetic, we want to do the cath…” Much in the same way they automatically want to put you on statins just because you are a diabetic. Same thing at work there.

A calcium score is the simplest and easiest to get. And - at least in my state - you don’t need an endo or cardiologist to sign off on it. You just walk in.

And if you get a low score, then you don’t need to worry about the others! To me, that seems like a very sensible first step.

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Type 2- 25 years, no heart attack, never have taken a statin. I don’t believe everyone needs a statin. I do take a baby ASA. Nancy50

I sorry to hear that. I hope you are feeling better now.

Heart attack early August. Very low carb (25 or fewer/day) for over a decade and very low cholesterol levels. I agree with Terry4 whole-heartedly. As much as we know, there is still much that is a mystery.

I understand and will keep you in my prayers that everything is better and stays that way!

Over a year ago I asked a cardiologist about having a CAC (Coronary Artery Calcium) score done and he didn’t think it was necessary because I had passed a stress test. I asked at a third follow-up appointment this past summer and he then thought it would be a good idea to have a baseline and ordered one.

They are that inexpensive. Mine was about $85 or $86 (I can’t recall which it was, close enough) which really surprised my husband. It was not covered by our insurance and he thought they had coded it wrong and called the insurance company.

I’m following a keto diet, which was recommended by my cardiovascular surgeon. I was always low(er) carb, but switching to high-fat and very low carb, has made a world of difference for my husband and I, in many, many ways … I think all positive. I recently mentioned the diet to a cardiologist and they thought it was fine.

Agreed. There is a lot to be said about genetics though and sometimes it doesn’t matter how good of control you have, for either. Cardiovascular and coronary disease run in my family. I drew the unlucky straw. My A1C, after diagnosis and minus a period of time of poor absorption, are in the non-diabetic range and with minimal statins (which I would prefer not to take) my cholesterol is perfect, so much that I am concerned it is too low.