Heart Disease: Risk Factors and Family History

Heart disease is one of the most prevalent causes of death in the U.S. From cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, and a bigger waistline to diet, smoking, and family history—all are considered to be risk factors for heart disease.

Prominent risk factors for heart disease

Obesity and an increasing waistline, leading to diabetes, hypertension, and atherosclerosis

Unfortunately, if you are overweight, you ought to be extremely careful as there is a high chance of developing the above-mentioned health problems, which would inevitably lead to heart disease.

Level of triglyceride and high blood cholesterol

Again, in the case of high blood cholesterol, your blood contains a lot of cholesterol, which is basically a fat-like, waxy substance. If the level of blood cholesterol gets higher, the risk of having a heart attack or coronary heart disease elevates.

Low-density lipoproteins 

LDL cholesterol is usually referred to as the “bad” cholesterol because it transmits cholesterol to the tissues, including the heart arteries. This increases the risk of heart disease.

High-density lipoproteins

HDL cholesterol is referred to as the “good” cholesterol because it assists in eliminating fat from your arteries. But if it is too low, it may raise the risk of coronary heart disease or CHD. Hence, you need to ensure that you maintain a healthy level of both cholesterols, which includes LDL and HDL.

Triglycerides

This is a particular kind of fat that is found in the blood and is at quite high levels in the case of women. Therefore, ensure that the level of triglycerides is maintained; if not, it may give rise to coronary heart disease.

Diabetes 

When the body’s blood sugar level is quite high, one may stand a risk of being hit with diabetes.

Smoking

When you smoke tobacco for a lengthy period of time, it exposes you to the danger of having a heart attack or CHD.

However, all of the above-mentioned risk factors can be modified. But the risk factor of family history is not as modifiable as other risk factors.

Family history 

If your mother or father has had a stroke or heart attack, or even if your grandparents have had heart disease, then chances are that you are at a higher risk of being affected with any of the diseases related to the heart. If you have a heart disease, it does not mean that your children or your grandchildren will be affected by it. Nevertheless, the chances of the disease developing are higher, as compared to the general population. The risks of being affected by a heart attack or any heart disease would certainly be higher if it is a family disease.

You need to understand the risks that you are exposed to if you have a family record associated with heart disease. If anyone in your family has had a stroke, the chances are higher of you too being affected by it, sooner or later. This is why it is imperative for you to get in touch with your family’s healthcare provider quickly. Do try finding out if your parents, grandparents, sister, or brother have had a heart-related disease and their age when the disease developed.