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August 27, 1982

Almost Off the Actuarial Curve

Author Affiliations

Decatur, Ga

JAMA. 1982;248(8):935-936. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330080021020

The snowstorm came as a surprise, but not an unexpected one. The same was true of the substernal burning. Both my parents have adult-onset diabetes; my father survived an infarct at 57; my younger brother died suddenly at 29 in 1965.I have controlled hypertension and an abnormal blood lipid pattern and am undeniably a type A personality. The last thing I achieved in a relaxed manner was winning the spelling bee in the sixth grade. Because of the snow, I left my car on campus and had just climbed a long hill on the way home when the burning began. I stopped and feigned an interest in the cars struggling up the hill. I remembered a chest pain years previously as I had walked to the flight gate to meet my favorite aunt arriving for my brother's funeral. More severe by far, the ancient pain had also disappeared on pausing,