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Old 10-31-20, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Heart attacks can and do happen in very fit people from plaque detaching from artery walls and blocking blood supply to the heart and hence oxygen. Plaque is related to diet and can happen in very fit athletes. (Years ago, the runner Jim Fixx advocated running as an activity that allowed you to eat anything with impunity. He died of a widowmaker as a marathon-fit athlete.)
Plague is medically knows as coronary calcium. So there's a coronary calcium score (CAC), a number calculated from a CT scan of the heart. A high CAC score is heritable. If there is an association between diet and CAC score, it is at this point unknown. There is a moderately strong positive association between high CAC score and being an endurance athlete. Most people don't realize this because CT scans are expensive and insurance won't pay for them without good reason. "Good reason" is a heart attack or some other coronary issue.

I have a high calcium score and have been a vegetarian since I was 21. It is known that neither statins nor diet will reduce a high calcium score, though it's possible that statins can help stabilize that coronary calcium. There's still debate about that - no one knows for sure how statins help to prevent heart attacks, except that researchers are fairly sure now that reducing cholesterol is a side effect and is thus correlated with the reduction in heart attacks but not causative of that reduction.

OTOH, a high calcium score isn't all that bad if one got it because of being an endurance athlete. Our calcium deposits are more solidly attached and have a different composition w/r to the coronary calcium of non-athletes.
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