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Is Heart Disease Genetic?

 Is Heart Disease Genetic?

Heart disease is an intimidating condition affecting millions worldwide. If you have a history of this condition in your family, it can be especially overwhelming. While lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, and smoking, can play a significant role in heart health, you may be left wondering whether your genetics also contribute. 

At Cardiovascular Institute of America, our cardiovascular disease specialists, led by Muthu Velusamy, MD, FACC, ABVM, offer in-office diagnostic testing and treatment for heart disease to improve heart health and quality of life and ease your concerns. 

In the meantime, we’ll delve into the relationship between genetics and heart disease to uncover the truth. 

Understanding the role of genetics in heart disease 

While your genetics alone don’t determine your risk of developing heart disease, they can definitely play a significant role. Here’s what you need to know. 

Family history 

Having a family history of heart disease can increase your risk of developing this condition. If your parents or siblings have had heart disease, you might be genetically predisposed to it as well. 

Genetic mutations

Additionally, certain genetic mutations can affect your cholesterol metabolism, blood pressure regulation, and other factors that contribute to heart health. These mutations can increase your susceptibility to heart disease. 

Inherited conditions 

Some rare genetic conditions, like familial hypercholesterolemia and familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, can significantly elevate your risk of heart disease at a young age. 

Lifestyle factors vs. genetic predisposition 

Along with genetic factors influencing your risk of heart disease, lifestyle factors can also play a major role. Here’s how lifestyle choices interact with your genetic predisposition to heart disease: 

Healthy lifestyle mitigates risk 

Adopting a healthy lifestyle can mitigate that risk even if you have a genetic predisposition to heart disease. That’s why it’s always important to prioritize regular exercise, a balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, and avoid tobacco use to reduce your chances of developing this disease. 

Personalized prevention strategies 

Understanding your genetic risk factors for heart disease can be like a superpower, helping you take the necessary action and develop personalized prevention strategies. With the proper knowledge, you can make informed decisions about lifestyle modifications and medical interventions. 

Genetic testing for heart disease risk assessment  

One of the silver linings of heart disease management is that advances in genetic testing have made it possible to assess your genetic risk. Here’s what you need to know about genetic testing for heart disease risk assessment: 

Polygenic risk scores  

With polygenic risk scores, we’re able to analyze multiple genetic variants associated with heart disease to calculate your specific genetic risk. 

Familial screening 

If you have a family history of heart disease or inherited cardiac conditions, genetic screening may be recommended to identify potential risk factors. This information can help guide you in taking the right measures to protect your heart health. 

In the end, it’s important to remember that while genetics can influence your risk of heart disease, they are just one piece of the puzzle. By adopting a healthy lifestyle and understanding your family history, you can start taking the necessary steps to protect your heart health. 

If you’re ready to learn more about how to reduce your risk of heart disease and enjoy a healthier life, give us a call at (813)610-9510 or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment with Dr. Velusamy today!

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