Heredity and Heart Disease - Why Family History Matters
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, with more than 600,000 Americas dieing from it each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This deadly disease can run in families, thus, family medical history can give vital information in identifying whether you are at risk.
There are a number of vascular disorders that increase the risk of heart attack at a young age. Familial hypercholesterolemia is one of the more common disorders. This disease is caused by high levels of bad cholesterol from birth. One in every 500 people may be born with familial hypercholesterolemia, according to the CDC.
People who have a risk of heart disease due to family history should take all necessary steps to prevent it. This includes having your cholesterol checked and monitoring your blood pressure regularly.
The risk of heart disease, especially from genetic disorders, is increased when combined with poor lifestyle habits, such as eating a poor diet, not exercising regularly and smoking. Choosing healthy meals rich in fiber, fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fats, cholesterol and salt can help lower your blood pressure. Exercising can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. The CDC recommends that adults exercise for 30 minutes each day. Additionally, you should avoid drinking and smoking, as both of these can increase the chances of developing heart disease.