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Common Misunderstandings

"Stress caused my heart attack"
Although unpleasant, stress is not one of the major risk factors for coronary heart disease or a heart attack.   In some cases, extreme stress can cause angina pains, however it is not true to say that any stress will cause a heart attack (or another one). 

"Any exercise could kill me"
Most people who have heart disease, wheather they have angina, have had a heart attack or have had heart surgery will benefit from doing more not less exercise. You should check with your Doctor, practice nurse or cardiac rehabilitation team before beginning a programme of activity.  Make sure you don't do too much too soon. Further information on physical activity can be found in the making lifestyle changes section.

"Sexual activity will trigger a heart attack"
Some people who have had a heart attack fear sexual activity may trigger a another heart attack. Most people however find that they can return to the sexual life they had before their heart attack.

"Now I have heart disease my life is over"
Most people think that now they have established heart disease, or have had a heart attack, their life and health will worsen.  Most people who have had a heart attack enjoy good recovery. By making positive changes to the way you live, and by taking the medicines prescribed to you by your doctor, you can help yourself recover and reduce your risk of having a (or another) heart attack.