With her Mediterranean diet and exercise routine, Susan Lucci looks the picture of health at 72.
But the legendary soap star now says she wasn’t as healthy as she believed.
“On a late October afternoon, I had a wakeup call,” Lucci said in a photo caption on her Instagram account. “Narrowly missing a severe heart attack, I realized how vulnerable life is and how incredibly grateful I am to be here today.”
The former “All My Children” star revealed she had a blockage in her heart and had to undergo emergency surgery:
“I exercise daily, eat as healthy as possible and yet had a shock of a lifetime when I was told that I had a 90 percent blockage in the main artery of my heart,” Lucci wrote. “I learned that heart disease is the number 1 killer of women, claiming more precious lives every year than all forms of cancer combined.”
Lucci told People magazine that her father’s heart condition — he suffered a heart attack in his late 40s — put her at risk for the same.
“My father had calcium build up in his arteries,” Lucci said. “It’s my DNA.”
Now the actress has partnered with the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Red Dress Collection “in honor of all women who have lost their lives, those who are currently battling heart disease and all the fearless survivors.”
“No one should have to die of a heart attack — they just need to listen to their symptoms and act on them,” Lucci said on Instagram. “My hope in telling my story is that I can help at least one wife, mother, sister and friend.”
Written by Lisa Respers France for CNN.
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