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Family History of Heart Disease

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A family history of heart disease is a common concern. Most already know that having a family member with heart disease, particularly at a young age, increases their risk of having a heart attack or stroke. However, having a family history of heart disease is also one of the most challenging risk factors to assess because the family member that had the heart attack, stroke, stent, or bypass surgery likely did not have the same lifestyle choices as you, the same environmental exposures, or even necessarily the same genetics.

HealthspanMD™ specializes in helping people  determine if they have a genetic predisposition to future heart disease and, if they do, how to lower that risk.

Family History Of Heart Disease & Other Risks

Having a family history of heart disease is considered one of the  major risk factors for heart disease along with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and smoking.. The definition of a family history of premature heart disease is a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) who has had a heart attack, stent, bypass surgery, or stroke before the age of 55 in a male relative and 65 years old in a female relative. However, having any blood relative with heart disease increases your risk.

If you are concerned about your family history of heart disease, there are two important things to consider.

1. What is your risk for future heart disease?

Determining your risk for future heart disease is often complex and challenging. If your family history of heart disease is due to a genetically high cholesterol level, then you may need just a blood test to determine if you inherited the problem. However, traditional ways of assessing risk aren’t enough for most people. They may need an imaging test like a CT calcium score or carotid/femoral artery ultrasound to understand better if they have a genetic propensity for artery disease. Consult an expert in how to identify heart disease risk for guidance.

2. How can you lower your risk for future heart disease?

Research shows that those who optimize seven things – called Life’s Simple 7 by the American Heart Association – have as much as 90% fewer heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure.

At HealthspanMD™, we add three additional factors to Life’s Simple 7 that have proven to be powerful predictors of better health and longer life and lower risk for heart disease – which we call the Healthspan-10™.

  1. Normal blood pressure
  2. Normal blood sugar levels
  3. Healthy cholesterol levels
  4. Healthy body weight or body composition
  5. Healthy nutrition
  6. Regular physical activity
  7. Avoid toxins such as tobacco and excess alcohol
  8. Restorative sleep
  9. Manage stress
  10.  Stay connected – socially and to your purpose

Consult Dr. Robert Todd Hurst, MD, About Protecting Your Heart Health

Dr. Robert Todd Hurst, MD, FACC, FASE, has extensive experience treating patients with a family history of heart disease who want the best treatment to lower the risk of future heart attack and stroke. He established HealthspanMD™ to help patients live long, healthy, and vital  lives. He brings over 25 years of experience at respected institutions such as the Mayo Clinic and the Banner Heart Health Institute. With over 50 peer-reviewed publications and over 100 delivered educational presentations, he continues to be an active part in advancing heart health and providing leading-edge care for his patients.

Young boy running with his father