Family History - Are You Linked to Heart Disease?

February 24, 2017

You got your father’s eyes, your grandmother’s laugh, but what about your uncle’s heart disease? While some inherited traits are good, others, like heart disease, aren’t. And it’s important to know that your risk of heart disease is strongly linked to your family history.

If you don’t know your family’s full health history, start with your immediate family first. Find out if your brothers, sisters, parents or grandparents had heart disease.  And share this information with your primary care doctor. He or she will be able to help you develop a preventive care plan that works best for you.

Even if your family has a clean bill of health, it is still a good idea to talk with your primary care provider. There are other genetic factors that may increase your risk of heart disease, including race and ethnicity. And while you can’t counteract your genes, you can take preventative measures to reduce your risk of heart disease – such as better eating habits, maintaining a healthy weight, participating in light to moderate physical activity and eliminating smoking.

If you need to find a primary care provider, click on the “Find a Doctor” above to start your search.