Hereditary Heart Disease
Heart disease is one of the leading killers in America, and yet we still do not fully understand it. We do, however, understand some things about it. For one thing, we understand that much of it has to do with heredity. This does not mean that if you have a relative who died of heart disease you will die of heart disease too. But it does mean that your family can be a strong indicator of your risk for premature heart disease.
“Premature” means different things depending on whether you are a man or a woman, and is a term based on statistics. In women, premature heart disease occurs before the age of 65. In men, it is before the age of 55. As far as the factor of heredity is concerned, the presence of a history of premature heart disease in your parents and siblings is the strongest indicator of your risk of premature heart disease.
As far as your parents are concerned, you are at the greatest risk for hereditary heart disease if only your mother has a history of a premature condition. However, numbers indicate that if one or more of your siblings has a premature heart disease, you are at a much higher risk than you would be from a parent with a premature condition.
In addition to hereditary heart disease, there are other health conditions that can put you at a greater risk for premature heart disease. If your family has a history of obesity, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), or dyslipidemia (problems with cholesterol), you are at an increased risk for having a heart attack at a young age.
Knowing your family’s medical history and what conditions and symptoms to watch for is essential in preventing problems and recognizing symptoms early enough to make a difference. If you know what particular problems you are genetically prone to, you can take the proper steps to minimize your risk and be ready for whatever problems might come your way.
While hereditary heart disease is a real risk for many people, heredity only determines part of your risk factors. The way you live affects your probability of suffering from a premature heart condition just as strongly as your family’s medical history does. Unlike your heredity, however, you have control over the way you live.
Making healthy choices about the foods you eat and maintaining a steady exercise routine are the keys to reducing your chances of suffering a premature heart attack. Limiting the toxins you take into your body, like those in alcoholic beverages and cigarettes, will also significantly reduce your risk. Alcohol, in moderate amounts, has been shown to reduce your risk, but both alcohol in large quantities and cigarette smoke increase your risk. You may want to consider a bypass surgery diet, which would be perfect for this type of health problems.
Ultimately, the best way to beat the odds when it comes to hereditary heart disease is to include a lot of fruits and vegetables in your diet; not only do they have vitamins and antioxidants that help prevent heart disease, but they also have a lot of fiber, which is great for your heart. This, combined with proper exercise, will help you lead a healthier life and manage your heart’s hereditary risk.
If you have been experiencing enough heart problem symptoms your physician feels surgery could be a future option, be sure you understand the possibility of bypass complications.