Is 30% artery blockage serious? How long can someone live …

  • Is 30% artery blockage serious? How long can someone live with this health condition?

    We’re discussing a narrowing, a stenosis, and not a blockage (which would be almost 100%). Which blood vessel are we discussing?

    Who ordered the testing? Do discuss this with this doc, please.

    Roughly speaking any stenosis is only of any clinical meaning if it was more than 50%. No not serious yet, but if left unattended will become serious, see further.

    The consequences when the stenosis gets worse depends what blood vessel was stenosed: the coronary artery? a leg artery? a carotid artery to the brain?

    But, it being a symptom of vascular disease, which will get worse so can cause e.g. a myocardial infarction (heart attack), leg amputation, stroke etc., means one must take measures to try to slow down the process, most likely due to atherosclerosis, starting now.

    These measures include the well know lifestyle modification almost nobody is interested in following, needing “too much effort”, even if it was for their own health:

    • not smoking, or cease to smoke
    • losing weight
    • regularly exercise
    • follow a Mediterranean diet (NOT low cholesterol, that is obsolete)
    • have blood pressure optimally controlled: aim for a systolic blood pressure of between 120–124 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure above 70 mmHg.
    • if diabetic have it optimally controlled
    • most people would profit from taking a statin

    An American cardiologist, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselsteyn, in this paper Resolving the Coronary Artery Disease Epidemic through Plant-Based Nutrition that by following a strict vegan diet (most probably also supplementing vitamin B12) without any lipid lowering drug (statin) his patient in 32 months normalised a seriously narrowed coronary artery

    So the patient could consider going vegan too.

    I think you have got some examination (duplex scan, angiography or tomography) that states you have some vessek with 30% of stenosis. The word stenosis means you have something (normally a cholesterol plaque) inside your vessel that is tighten its inner passage (we call it lumen). From now on, I will talk about this kind of problem: artery stenosis. If you have got some other kind of information, please let me know.

    A 30% artery stenosis means that the lumen is narrowed by 30% of its diameter. It does not mean the artery is full blocked. It is something more or less like the picture below:

    The amount of symptoms such an artery narrowing can produce depends on three factors: which artery is affected, the amount of the narrowing (percent of stenosis) and the nature of that specific plaque. A stenosis in a coronary (heart) artery if much more dangerous than the same narrowing in a tongue artery, for example. Also, if you have a smooth, calcified plaque it is safer than a rough, heterogenous plaque, because the last one is prone to tear and bleed, leading to a sudden total occlusion of the artery by a thrombus:

    Regarding the amount of stenosis, normally we start to have problems when the narrowing is more than 50%. Then the subject begins to feel symptoms related to lack of blood flow, which vary depending on the affected organ. For example, if it is a leg artery which is affected, the patient may have pain when he or she walks.

    A 30% artery narrowing is not a dangerous thing per se, but indicates you have plaque deposition inside your arteries. So you should think of it as a yellow traffic light: be more careful. People with this condition should move to a healthier lifestyle, with a better diet (low carb, low fat), and more exercise. Stop smoking is mandatory. Other health conditions must be searched for and treated, as diabetes, high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

    Of course, this is just a general orientation. Please refer to a doctor..


    The best treatment for any heart condition is –

    Walk for 2 to 5 minutes after getting up in the morning at easy pace in your home.

    After walking get back to bed and rest for 15 minutes.

    Repeat the above 4 times in morning and 4 times at night.

    Reduce the meal size by 20 to 40%.

    This increases resting metabolic rate. In about 1 month you will feel great improvement in your heart performance.

    For explanation of the above read my blog.


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    With this sort of blockage, i’d imagine it would give continued high blood pressure. High blood pressure leads to the formation of atherosclerosis or more blockages in the arteries as it attempts to repair the walls but ultimately this gathers fats and other substrates.

    This will lead to a downward spiral making the quality of life fall very fast, i’d imagine it would increase risk of cardiovascular disease massively along with the chance of heart attacks and stroke giving a maximum lifespan of fifteen years potentially, however with surgeries such as shunts being used in addition to weight loss or dietary programmes, I can imagine a long life is feasible.

    In short, unless treated, don’t expect to be that healthy.

    ANY artery blockage is serious and should be evaluated by a medical professional: arteries were never meant to be blocked.

    People have lived with severely blocked arteries for years. The problem occurs if a clot (thrombus) breaks off from somewhere and travels (embolus) to the blocked area: what normally may have passes through, now is trapped by the blockage, resulting in complete blockage. Complete blockage can also occur over time if the problem and causes are not corrected.

    When this happens and causes tissue death, it is an infarct or if it happens in the brain, it is a stroke.


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    Answer requested by

    This is very normal situation just do something for mental and physical freshness.

    do mediation and pranayam

    eat low fat oil and spicy food

    make your self happy

    and forget any health issue with u

    I follow the same from last 20 yrs.

    so it’s your thought depend you I’ll or healthy


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    The “Heart” does not have blockages, arteries do. You are referring, I hope, to the Coronary arteries that can, like most arteries, develop blockages due to the disease we call atherosclerosis. The chambers of the Heart do not develop this kind of disease. Atherosclerosis refers to the development of thickened artery walls due to inflammation, scar tissue and later calcifications. Arteries can be focally or diffusely narrowed due to this disease, or chronically occluded.

    The Heart valves, particularly the Aortic and the Mitral valve can become narrowed, or as the medical term goes “stenotic” which just means narrowed. However, when Cardiologists discuss stenotic heart valves we use the term “valve areas” which are not calculated in terms of percentages, but in terms of the calculated degree that the valve opens, which is expressed as the valve area in centimeters squared. Thus we would say the Aortic valve area is 1.0 cm2, with the normal valve area being 2.0 cm2.

    So when your are using the term 99% blockage you are thinking about the heart when you should be focusing on the “Coronary arteries” that feed the heart muscle its blood supply. Thus the Coronary arteries are the arteries that are part of the Heart and supply oxygenated blood to the heart. If a Coronary artery gets narrowed severely – like 99% – then a Heart attack is either very likely, imminent, or already happening and thus that degree of narrowing mandates urgent or emergent treatment depending on the clinical circumstances. Sometimes a 99% blockage can be present, but there are “collateral” arteries that supplement the blood supply, thus making that 99% blockage less of an emergency.

    The treatment for a Coronary artery that is 99% blocked is either Coronary angioplasty with a stent or Coronary bypass surgery – if the artery is the Left Main or in a part of a blood vessel where stents would not work well or is (as we say) “contraindicated.”

    Doctors did not CREATE an emergency. Heart attack IS an emergency. What would you consider an emergency? After the patient has collapsed or after a cardiac arrest?

    The fact that the artery was indeed blocked 95% is a lucky start. It could have been 100% blocked. Angioplasty is the best option for Acute Coronary Syndromes. You should be extremely thankful that the doctors there acted quickly and did his angioplasty to save his heart muscle.

    I have over heard patients relatives talking that the hospital “charged” them too much or that the doctor “created” an emergency.

    I wonder if these people use their brains at all. Do you go to a hotel eat the food and complain that the chef “charged” you? Do you go to buy anything and complain that they are asking you to pay money? Do you go to a mechanic with a flat tyre and complain that he “created” a puncture?

    I’m going to talk a bit more. More that what this question warrants. You can choose not to read.

    Why do people assume that health care should not be charged? Why do people do whatever they want with their health and when they fall sick, come to hospital and blame the system for anything and everything? Feel that they have been charged. Feel that it’s too expensive.

    These are the same people who spend much more for their entertainment.

    If any patient wishes to get free treatment, the government hospitals are there. They provide excellent service to all kinds of problems. The only issue is that the place may not be to your taste and no one will pamper your ego. So, the choice to come to a particular hospital is made by the patient based on their financial situation. When that is the case, it is really surprising that people complain AFTER receiving the treatment.

    A big mindset change is needed

    100 percent blockage is called Chronic Total Occlusion or CTO. It is the outcome of a long standing blockage (greater than 3 months old) and generally happens after a heart attack due to 100 percent block. Sometimes, patients would not feel pain but may have 100 percent block. The heart muscle area in the territory of blockage tends to die unless a last lifeline called collaterals comes to its rescue. They generally provide 10 percent oxygenated blood of what a normal artery in size can provide. It is called a natural bypass.

    CTO patients were earlier referred for Bypass Surgery or kept on medication. If symptoms persist even on full medication and the heart muscles are still viable, then the blocked artery must get opened.

    Now the question arises who can open a 100 percent blockage without Bypass. The answer is Yes. It can be opened through Angioplasty itself.

    There is a niche segment of expert interventional cardiologists called CTO operators who can open such blocks. It requires special techniques and technology to open such blocks. Japanese operators mastered this technique and were supported by companies like Asahi and Boston Scientific who developed specialised wires, microcathetors and balloons to cross the lesion and then deploy stents. It normally takes 2 to 4 hours to open such blocks and a bit more expensive that normal cases.

    Physical activity has so many benefits to your health. It can help you get to and stay at a healthy body weight, reduce the risk of bone fractures if you have osteoporosis, and can reduce the risk of many other illnesses like cancer and heart disease. For most people, participating in physical activity is safe. However, some people should check with their health care provider or a qualified exercise professional before they start becoming more physically active.

    How often you should exercise depends on several factors. Some exercise programs recommend exercising a minimum number of days a week. Experts suggest moderate to vigorous activity for at least 2½ hours a week. One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. It’s fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week. The best number of days for you may depend upon your time availability, your exercise intensity, the duration of each session, and of course, your overall goals. If you exercise at a lower intensity level, you may want to exercise more frequently. Studies have shown that no significant differences in aerobic capacity are found whether these are consecutive or alternate days. If you are trying to lose weight, talk to your doctor about how much exercise you need.

    Whereas exercise may not clear the blockage, it stresses the heart coronary arterial system, and forces it to generate collateral arteries to by pass the blocked portion of the artery. Habitual physical activity (exercise training) has been shown to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death and acute myocardial infarction. Increasing physical activity is a critically important modifiable behaviour that can reduce the relative risk of coronary artery disease events because of its systemic benefits), which rival or exceed those achieved with pharmacological interventions and coronary revascularization for secondary treatment of coronary artery disease-related events. Other systemic benefits of regular endurance exercise training—including improving coronary blood flow, muscle strength, and mood—could enhance even a healthy individual’s quality of life. . In turn, these positive lifestyle modifications help reduce CAD risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. To date, there has not been any type of pharmacological intervention, i.e. “polypill,” that has provided the benefits to as many organ systems as regular physical activity.


    1. Benefits of exercise training on coronary blood flow in coronary artery disease patients
    2. Hardening of the Arteries – Patient Information Resource

    There are some very good answers here. Your question is a clear representation of a common problem here on Quora. Before you resort to asking online strangers for information about crucial parts of your health; ASK YOUR DOCTOR and make sure you get an understandable explanation! Physicians are just people and some are good communicators and teachers and others aren’t. If they know their business, they should be able to explain to you the important factors of your situation so you can understand it. If you let a Doc shortchange you, it’s your fault. Most folks only remember a tiny part of what the Doc tells them and often don’t understand or even remember a lot of their interaction. This can be frustrating to physicians but its part of our job to explain things. Talk to your interventional cardiologist and get your information specific to YOU. A general answer is any arterial obstruction can cause a heart attack but not all arterial obstructions are appropriate for stenting or surgery. Your Doc should be able to explain your situation to you. We treat the artery disease with diet, exercise, not smoking and a bunch of medications. If that regimen isn’t adequate, we use stenting and or surgery also. We don’t cure the problem but we’re loads better at treating it than we were 50 years ago.

    I am 83. Yesterday, I had my 2nd heart angiography and stent insertion. Last May, 2017, I had the 1st 2 stents inserted. 10 years ago, I had open heart surgery to replace 3 main clogged arteries feeding he heart, with 2 sections of a leg vein, plus a branch of the Left Mammary Artery was also attached. This condition might have killed me.

    Then, after 9 years, I had sufficient blockage to make it necessary to clean out 2 branches of the circumflex artery, and to insert to wire mesh tubes to hold them open. This may have eventually killed me.

    The operation yesterday was to remove a large clot which had filled one of the sections of vein, which had bypassed the blocked artery. This had a high probability of killing me, if it had not been fixed.

    Today, everything looks good, except that I must now take blood thinners for a long time.

    But, I am alive. How long, I don’t know.

    Blockages generally take years to decades to develop. The process usually starts by the second decade of life and requires decades to progress to the stage where it can do harm.

    However, in some people blockages can develop very quickly even over a period of weeks or months. Blockages due to a blood clot can develop in minutes and is common in smokers. After an angioplasty blockages can recur within months to a year depending on various factors. If proper medicines are not consumed regularly after angioplasty, blockage can occur anytime, even within a day or two of the procedure.

    The most commonly done procedure (stress ECG or Treadmill Test) to diagnose blockages in the coronary arteries is not very accurate and sometimes gives misleading results (especially in women) so don’t assume that a blockage is / was definitely present / absent based on results of stress testing.

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