Does family history and heart disease go hand-in-hand?

Did your father ever had a heart attack? Or did your mum ever had a heart attack? Or any of your grandparents in the past had a heart attack? Well, these may seem like random questions but here is the real deal. If heart attack is in your family, then there is a higher risk of you having a heart attack in the future. Knowing your family history can actually help you avoid heart diseases like heart attack, which is one of the leading causes of death in America. It is stated that family history and heart disease are linked. In fact, studies state that if a male relative has suffered a heart attack before the age of 55 or if a female relative has suffered a heart attack before the age of 65, then your are more likely to have one. And if both of your parents have suffered a heart attack or stroke before hitting 55 years of age, you are 50% more likely to have a heart disease as compared with general population.

One should always share his family history with a family doctor as soon as possible. But many a times we do not know our family history. In such a case what one can do is, simply start with immediate family. Just start finding out if any of your brothers, sisters, parents or grandparents have ever suffered from a heart disease. It is also important to know their age when they had a heart attack or a stroke. However, there is no major research to be done here. Great grandparents history is not required simply because it is as good as irrelevant. It is irrelevant because the medical treatments and the environment they lived in were very different then.

One’s family history gives out a perfect picture of the environment and genetics in place when the diseases has occurred. If you discover about your family history and heart disease related to it, you don’t have to panic. Simply start taking measures than worrying. And even if your family comes clean after your family history research, you should be aware of other genetic factors that can increase your family’s risk. For example, statistics show that Afro- American have a higher risk for blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.

The most important thing is even if your family history and heart disease have a connection, this does not mean that you are likely to have that disease too. It just means that you are more likely to have it. Besides you are the one who has control over your own health.