‘What’s Up Doc’ is a health column in association with The Crawley Observer, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions regarding general health and wellbeing.
Answers are provided weekly from our specialist consultants at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, Surrey. If it’s a long-standing illness or simply a worry which you would like to get off your mind then we would like to help.
This question appeared in The Crawley Observer on Wednesday 29 May 2013, to readers across Surrey and Sussex. The question and answer is below, as it appeared in the newspaper.
Read the response by Dr Rashid Iqbal, consultant consultant cardiologist:
Dear doc, I am 66 years of age with a not so bad medical history. My father had a heart attack at the age of 46. Recently I have been feeling tired, my legs seem to be swelling and I have been experiencing chest pain every now and then along with a slight shortness of breath. I don’t know if I could be more prone to having an attack. It’s worrying, are there any tests I could have? I would rather get this checked out sooner rather than later. James, Broadfield.
Dear James, thank you for asking this question and I am delighted to assist. Your symptoms suggest that you may have developed angina due to coronary narrowing; this usually manifests as exertional chest pain, breathlessness and reduction in exercise tolerance. You also describe a family history for coronary disease which could favour this diagnosis; at the first instance, I would suggest you seek an appointment with your doctor at local surgery. After initial assessment you will be referred to a cardiologist for further cardiological investigations. In our specialist cardiology clinic you will have a full cardiac check-up, have some necessary blood tests and an ECG.
We then assess your suitability to perform an exercise stress test or other non-invasuve/invasive cardiac tests depending upon assessment results. Don’t worry this may seem a lot but we will reach a swift diagnosis and manage this problem effectively.
I hope this would be useful to you and any other person who shares similar symptoms and circumstances.