Author: Richard R. Heuser, M.D., FACC, FACP, FESC, FSCAI
Do you have a family history of heart disease? If so, then you might be wondering if heart disease is hereditary, or if healthy lifestyle habits can keep heart disease at bay. The topic of family history and heart disease is a heavily researched subject of great interest to both academic researchers and clinicians.
Whether you’re in great health or have recently been diagnosed with heart disease, there are a few things you should know about the relationship between heart disease and your genes.
Genetic Factor Men Should Know About
Research from the University of Leicester suggests that males who carry a particular type of Y chromosome (haplogroup I) are at 50 percent greater risk for developing heart disease. According to the study, men who carry haplogroup I have a lessened ability to fight off infection and atherosclerosis.
Little research has been done on this genetic factor, but additional findings could solidify a connection between genetics and (at least some) instances of heart disease.
What You Can Do
While new research may show a connection between family history and heart disease, I encourage patients to make heart-healthy lifestyle changes regardless of the amount of risk they have inherited.
Additionally, it’s important to be aware of your family’s medical history. If a parent or sibling has suffered a heart attack or been diagnosed with heart disease, this information could help your physician better diagnose your condition. Even if you’re in good health, go ahead and collect this information now so that you can be prepared for whatever may come.
You could be at an increased risk for heart disease if:
- Your father or brother suffered a heart attack before the age of 45.
- Your mother or sister suffered a heart attack before the age of 55.
For more information about heart disease and your treatment options at Phoenix Heart Center, call 602-234-0004.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.