From The Morton Blog

Heart Disease Runs in Prince Philip's Family

Years of polo and carriage driving have lengthened Prince Philip's life.

By , Columnist

David Caulkin/Associated Press/CBC

Prince Philip took up carriage driving as a substitute for polo later in life. He competed successfully, often watched with enthusiasm by his wife, Queen Elizabeth II.

The swift response on December 23 to Prince Philip's chest pain, with an airlift to the leading cardiac hospital in England, was appropriate given his family history of heart disease.

Prince Philip, 90, was treated for the blockage of a coronary artery and received a stent. It's likely that the blockage was relieved with balloon angioplasty and the stent was immediately positioned to hold open the walls of the artery.

Prince Philip is renowned as an athletic and indefatigable member of the royal family who has only recently scaled back his schedule of duties.

220px-Laszlo_-_Prince_Andrew_of_Greece.jpgHis lifetime of good health habits probably spared him his father's fate. Prince Philip's father, Prince Andrew of Greece, was an active military officer for Greece, but was exiled along with the rest of the Greek royal family in 1922, at the end of the Greco-Turkish War.

Prince Andrew, his wife, Queen Victoria's great-granddaughter Princess Alice, their four daughters, and young son, Philip, moved to Paris. Eventually the marriage broke down and Prince Andrew spent the last years of his life in Monaco.

According to reliable royal biographer Hugo Vickers, Prince Andrew died of heart failure and arterial sclerosis at age 62. Prince Philip was only 23 at the time.

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Charlotte Germane dishes the dirt on gardening in newsletters, radio shows, newspapers, and blogs. Follow her on Twitter to get the latest trowel-full of news. She live-blogged the Royal Wedding for The Morton Report and has series of royalty columns here.

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