Identifying a Family History of Heart Disease

You may know about some heart attacks in the family but didn’t think about them too much when it comes to you. There are a lot of causes that can result in heart attacks and heart disease. Some of these factors come from lifestyle, but many can come from genetics that are passed from generation to generation. Learn how you can identify if you have a family history of heart disease.

Talk with Your Family

It’s important to talk with your family about medical conditions. Sometimes it can seem too painful to ask about relatives that are in failing health or have passed away. It’s tough to bring it up if you haven’t talked about it previously, but it’s important. You need to know the factors that contributed to the health problems. Learning about parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other close family members that have had a heart attack, a stroke, or been diagnosed with heart disease is important for your future health.

Other Related Conditions

You don’t want to just focus on whether someone has been diagnosed with heart disease or suffered a heart attack or stroke. It can be helpful to find out about other health conditions that relate to cardiovascular problems. For instance, do any of your close relatives have high blood pressure? High blood pressure can point to a problem with your heart and can make your heart work faster than it needs to work.

Keep Other Lifestyle Choices in Mind

Don’t panic just yet that you’re sure to have a heart attack because your father or mother had one. You should also keep other lifestyle choices in mind. Did they smoke? What type of diet did they have before the health issue? How much exercise were they getting? Did they see their doctor on a regular basis? The answers to these questions can help to put you at ease a bit.

Talk to Your Doctor

You’ll also want to discuss what you’ve learned with your doctor. They can help you to determine your risk, and what you can do to mitigate them. This meeting can be a very beneficial conversation, even if you find out some hard truths about changes you need to make in your life.

Have you started learning about your family history of heart disease, but you want to learn more? Contact The FH Foundation today to learn about what we do, and how we can help you. You don’t have to be shackled by what genes your family has passed on down to you.

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