Is there a heart disease gene? Family history and heart disease

Dr. MS Hiremath

You may have heard many times in your life that when people look at a child, they often say things like, "She has her mother's eyes, her grandfather's curly hair and her father's face." On the other hand, you never hear people say things like, "She has her mother's tendency toward diabetes and her grandfather's heart disease." But those things can get passed down from one generation to the next just like eyes or hair. Yes, heart disease can run in your family. Family members share genes, behaviours, lifestyles, and environments that can influence their health and their risk for heart disease.
When members of a family pass trait from one generation to another through genes, that process is called hereditary, It is well known that a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of heart disease. But what about those who have inherited genes had known to increase risk? Some medical conditions, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes, and lifestyle factors, such as an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and smoking, can make you more likely to develop heart disease. In addition, having close blood
relatives with heart disease can make you more likely to get heart disease.

If you have a family health history of heart disease, collect information on your relatives with heart disease, including what age they were diagnosed. This is especially important if you have a parent, brother, or sister with heart disease. The more information you can collect will help your doctor be on the lookout for early signs of the same diseases in yourself and in your own children. Share this information with your doctor so you can work together on and you can follow few steps to avoid disease in future. These steps can include eating a healthy diet, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, limiting your alcohol use, having screening tests done that your doctor recommends, and, in some cases, taking medication.
You and your doctor can begin taking steps to prevent and manage the same ailments that might have shortened the lives of previous generations in your family. Genomics and family health history play a role in high blood pressure, heart disease, and other related conditions. These diseases are partly the result of how your genes interact with your behaviours, such as your diet and physical activity, and your environment. It is true that our genes are with us for life and the basic gene set is defined at conception. So can the effects of those genes on cardiovascular risk be modified by lifestyle? The study showed that adopting at least three out of four healthy lifestyle characteristics i.e. non-obese, physical exercise, not smoking, 'healthy diet; is associated with risk reduction of about 50 percent. Forget your genetic constitution; remember yourfuture is in your hand, you can challenge your future by adopting healthy lifestyle!
Be positive, nothing is impossible.
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