Your Family History and Your Heart

Keep in mind that as you read this that some people are adopted.  I for one am adopted and have no idea of my family past history.  Knowing I am a worry wart, to say the least, I am just fine with not knowing.

However,  I have raised a family and they are not adopted and so my family genetic  history has started.  It is good to learn as much as you can to help our next generation.

One of the most important factors in determining whether or not you’ll have a healthy heart is your family history. While lifestyle factors are also a major factor in the development of cardiac problems, your genetics play a role that shouldn’t be overlooked.

How is it possible that genetics play a role in your heart health? Well, the DNA that you inherit from your parents really lays the blue print for your body. And while it’s rare for a gene to actually cause heart disease directly, it can make you more susceptible to problems. This is especially true if you have unhealthy habits. Habits that are not health can be corrected.

For example, if one or both of your parents have heart disease and you’re a smoker, you’ll be more likely to have heart problems as a result of your tobacco use. However, if you have no family history of heart disease tobacco may not affect you so severely.

Family history isn’t an exact science when it comes to anticipating health problems. However, it is a fairly decent predictor and shouldn’t be ignored. This is especially true if you have heart disease in your parents and grandparents. These people are the ones who have the most genetic material in common with you.

If you do have a family history of heart disease, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed. The good news is that many people overcome their family history by practicing healthy habits.

In fact, healthy lifestyle habits can make a huge difference in your risk of heart problems. For example, avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, and keeping your blood pressure in check will help to prevent coronary heart disease.

A lack of a family history of heart disease doesn’t give you a free pass, though. There are many lifestyle factors that are so overwhelming that even without a genetic predisposition, you put yourself at risk.

So it’s important to still maintain healthy habits even if you don’t have anyone in your family that’s affected by heart disease. Because of the link between family history and heart disease, it’s important that you do all you can to gather your family medical history.

That’s true not just for heart disease, but also for cancer and diabetes. Talk with as many living relatives as you can about your family’s history of illnesses. This could be a key to solving your own medical mysteries later in life.