Knowing Your Family Heart History

Approximately 40% of the risk for cardiovascular disease lies in hereditary factors. Genetic factors greatly influence high blood pressure, heart disease, and other related conditions. People with a family history of heart disease likely share common environments and lifestyle habits that may increase their risk. Here’s why it’s essential to know your family's heart history. 

How Can You Learn More?

The easiest way to learn about your family’s heart history is by talking to your parents, then your grandparents. If they don’t have a history of heart disease, ask about uncles. If you don’t have access to information about your biological family, consider getting a complete blood test to learn more about your health. Getting an annual checkup is highly recommended to learn about potential health risks. 

Why Is This Important?

Due to genetics being a significant aspect of our health concerns, families that share similar genetic backgrounds often have identical environments and lifestyles. Because of our closeness with them, we can see how this can impact our health. This research method will give clues to what may run in the family. If paid enough attention, you can quickly identify patterns among your relatives, which will help your physician better understand your health problems. 

Is There Anything You Can Do?

Although researching your family’s condition will allow your physician to tackle any future problems, genetics isn’t something we can change. While you can’t change your genes, if you know you have a predisposition to heart disease, there are many things you can do to improve your odds. Following a healthy diet, exercising, avoiding smoking or drinking, and getting regular health checkups can help you stay on top of your health and heart.  

One study found that patients with a healthy lifestyle with coronary artery disease could reduce their risk by half, comparing them with those with an unhealthy lifestyle.

Taking Extra Steps

We can’t control our genetics or who our ancestors are, but we can control our lifestyle habits. ICON Meals™ has 3 meal boxes curated specifically to heart health application: 

Lean Box

Blackened Salmon Platter

Garden Chicken Omelette Bowl 

Learn as much as possible about your family’s heart history so you can take the necessary prevention steps to stay healthy. 

Geraldine Orentas is a writer in partnership with stethoscope distributors