The Genetic Impact of Heart Diseases
Our genes play a huge role. From the texture of your hair to the color of your eyes, every single thing is affected by your family’s genes. Additionally, the medical history of your family can also make you more prone to develop some conditions.
Among the number of hereditary conditions, heart disease is a huge concern. Around 1 in 4 deaths in the US are caused because of this condition and the genetic risk of heart disease is not one to be taken lightly.
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Different Kinds of Heart Diseases
A person’s risk of heart disease can range in severity based on their genetic condition. Even one or two genetic changes can increase someone’s risk. Inherited risk can make it more likely for someone to suffer from common, uncommon and rare heart conditions. The following are some issues that you can be at risk from, based on your family history:
Atrial Fibrillation – This is common arrhythmia which increases the chances of getting a stroke.
Brugda Syndrome – It is a genetic disorder which affects the heart rhythm and increases the risk of sudden cardiac arrest or ventricular fibrillation.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy – It’s an uncommon heart disease which affects the muscles of the heart, making it likely for one to get a heart attack.
Familial Hypercholesterolemia – This condition affects the cholesterol levels of the body. It can also lead to the premature development of coronary artery disease.
Researchers have also identified a total of 67 different variants that can be present in a person’s DNA and can indicate the risk of heart disease. The more variants you have in your DNA, the higher your risk is going to be.
Screening is Necessary
Once a family member, particularly a close one such as siblings, parents, first cousins and even aunts and uncles are diagnosed with heart disease, it is always necessary for others to get screened for it. Based on the family history, screening can help to detect heart disease in other members so that their risk can be detected. Often times, families are exposed to risk factors due to their shared environment so getting medical attention early can play a huge role. Early detection can give you more benefits to help understand and contain the risk of heart disease with ease.
Controlling Risk Factors Can Prevent It
While a person’s genetic condition does place them at risk, in most cases, it is just a 10% increase. Addressing their risk factors early and making healthy lifestyle changes can have a bigger impact. It is a good idea to change your diet, exercise more and also understand what risks you are facing. Even not getting proper sleep for 7 to 8 hours every day can make a marked difference in your health and increase your risk to heart conditions.
Whether you are at risk from genetic heart diseases or not, early detection and active prevention can not only reduce this risk but also give you a better quality of life which you can enjoy.