risky business when your family tree has heart disease written all
over it. Not to say your parents didnít pass along a number of nice
things like good looks, a great mind or a sense of humor. But if your
DNA puts you at an elevated risk of heart disease, you need to be
aware and proactive.
have a parent who has coronary artery disease, that has just doubled
your risk, irrespective of what you do, and if you have a sibling who
has heart disease, that quadruples it," says Dr. David Engle, an
invasive cardiologist with Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group.
change your genes but you can mitigate your risk.
Engle says take
these words to heart. "I can never smoke. I can never be in an
environment where there is secondhand smoke."
you are to 120/80 the better. If your top number is over 140 or your
bottom number is above 80, you need to be treated," Engle warns.
should be less than 200 and we want the LDL to be 70 or less. You may
need to take medication, usually a statin drug," Engle says.
Stay at a
are overweight invariably get diabetes, and their risk of developing
heart disease is substantially higher," Engle says.
several blood tests and imaging procedures to evaluate your risk of
heart disease, but donít put the cart before the horse. If you have
a strong genetic history of heart disease, Engle suggests you create a
baseline by seeing your physician as early as your late teens to
follow your blood pressure and cholesterol. If you are older, consult
with your physician about whether additional testing is necessary.