-- Question: Can I continue working as a truck driver after a heart attack?
Answer: If you're a truck driver, or an individual otherwise engaged in heavy physical work, you can, in fact, go back to work after experiencing a heart attack. But you have to follow certain precautions. Firstly, your physician has to make sure that you're able to tolerate the level of activity that's required for your occupation.
Secondly, this may mean -- and usually does mean -- a formal stress test evaluation of your heart's pumping function while you're on a treadmill after the heart attack. On the basis of this test, and sometimes even in combination with a formal work evaluation that an occupational therapist can perform for you, a judgment can be made as to when you can go back to work. And most people who are engaged in physical work can return to a very active and successful job after a heart attack. There are some people, however, whose heart's pumping function is quite weak after a heart attack and they may or may not be able to return to work. And these are important issues that you and your physician will need to discuss.