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Heart Scan

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New Member
Apr 2, 2001
This is a little off the subject of freediving but relates to high risk nature of the sport. I just got the results of my heart scan. I am 49 and have no risk factors for coronary heart disease; I don't smoke, I have low cholesteral, I am reasonably fit and active, and I regularly exercise. Yet, much to my own and my doctor's surprise, I have the beginnings of plaque build up in my major left cardiac artery. All my other arteries are clear. This is the beginning of heart disease.

I am asymtomatic which means that this would not have been caught in its early stages by using standard screening proceedures. Unfortunately heart scans are new and still considered to be "experimental" by insurances companies. Mine cost almost $600 and is not a covered by my ins. provider :t.

Fortunately, by catching this early I can take immediate steps to reverse the effects and prevent them in the future. These plaques may have been there for decades or might be quite recent. Either way they have to dealt with aggressively. I will be having a stress echocardiogram and other tests done and am meeting with many professionals to look at the condition of my heart muscles as well as to assess the nutritional, exercise, and other lifestyle changes that I need to make.

At this time all the tests indicate that I am not at any risk and can continue diving. What we don't know is the progression of this problem. As I plan on freediving until I can't crawl to the water I am very motivated to handle this problem. And hopefully some of these changes will help increase my deep times.

I have a son starting college in the fall who was the valedictorian of his graduating class and a daughter who is just entering first grade and I am just completing a Ph.D. in pediatric neuropsychology - I have a lot that I still want to do. I haven't been to the Maldives or the South Pacific, I haven't helped enough children with traumatic brain injuries, and I haven't spent enough time with my family and friends yet. Even a small arrythmia at depth could have been fatal.

The point of all of this is to encourage those of you are mid-40 or beyond to get screened regardless of other indicators. This was the best $600 dollars I ever spent. There is nothing as effective as prevention.

Warmly, Angus
Very true


I'm very sorry to hear about this health problem - but full marks on taking the time to keep up with your health.

It is a sad fact (and a horrific statistic) that 1 in 4 people suffer from cancer sometime in their life, and I have had friends of the family and personal friends who, despite being very fit and active, get struck down with heart problems.

Despite being in my 20's, I take an active role in making sure that all my health is checked regularly (eye's, teeth, moles/skin, general health) and am booking for my first private healthcare "full health check" which does a stunning array of test on pretty much everything imaginable.

Now this is a bit extreme for most, but this example from Angus should help all of us keep an eye on ourselves closer!

Best wishes Angus - you have a lot of virtual friends here at Deeper Blue who wish you the best.
the age of maintenance


Thanks for your support. As my pharmacist (chemist) pointed out to me several years ago I have entered the age of maintenance. Fortunately, I have always led an active healthy lifestyle which my doctor suggested has limited the extentent of my condition and makes it curable. I just hope that this experience can help a few people prevent more serious problems as it has done for me. I hope all your findings from your physical are good to go.
Famous Saying

There is a famous saying:
"Take care of your body for the first 50 years, and your body will take care of you for the other 50."

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
all downhill from here

:cool: One more year and I can coast. Of course I wonder what happens if I take care of my body for the first 100 years? Angus

I completed my stress echocardiogram and other tests. Not only do all the findings indicate that my heart is unharmed they actually suggest that my heart muscle and other measures of heart functions and health are at the top range of what is expected in top athlete who are in their twenties. One look at my face and it is clear that other parts of body have not weathered the almost five decades nearly as well. Yep, my face is twice as old as my heart.

So all the indications are that we caught this early and no harm was done. I am still making many changes in my lifestyle to further protect my heart and cardiovascular system in the future. I met with several medical education specialists to develop some nutritional and exercise strategies and goals. I was fascinated with how much the recomendations fit into freediving nutritional and exercise training programs;i ncluding increasing my iron supplements to increase the oxygen carrying capacity of my redblood cells. Quite a bit of the recommendations comes from endurance sports research and training.

Once again I encourage all you guys who have waved goodbye to 45 and you gals who have celebrated the passing of half a century to get a heart scan. I know that I have at least 3 to 4 more decades of having my head underwater now that I have dodged this bullet. Good health to all, Angus

Glad to hear such good news my friend, but we all new from your posts how much heart you have.;)
"Live in the now of every moment, and the moment of every now"
Warmly, Erik Young
Damn, does this mean we are skipping the apricot bars, dumpling squash pie, roast lamb stuffed with sausage, savory and feta cheese, not to mention the killer sauces we always pour over this food at Christmas? :D

Seriously Bro, I am willing to assist in any way to have more years knowing you. Let me know...but not on the freedive list!:naughty

Inside Joke: CheeChee & Elwood visit the Cardoiligist:eek:
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