How much does your family history matter for your heart health?
Your family medical history can influence your risk of certain medical conditions, including heart disease . But it’s important to remember that having an elevated risk of heart disease does not mean that you’re guaranteed to develop it. Watch the accompanying video to hear from a cardiologist at MountainView Hospital—a well-known heart hospital serving Las Vegas. He talks about mitigating other risk factors when a patient’s family medical history is a concern.
Discovering your family medical history
You might have already heard about a grandparent’s battle with cancer or an aunt’s heart attack, but don’t assume that you have all the facts—many people prefer not to share details about their health with their relatives. As tactfully as possible, broach this subject with your family.
Start by telling your parents and siblings that you’re compiling family history information for your records. Ask whether they can recall anyone in the family being diagnosed with any types of heart disease, including the following:
- Heart attack
- Coronary artery disease
- High blood pressure
- Heart valve problems
Diabetes is another concern, as it increases the risk of heart disease.
After talking to your immediate family members, get in touch with grandparents, if they’re still living, and aunts, uncles and cousins. Reassure them that you’ll keep their sensitive medical information confidential. After compiling your family medical history, bring your findings to your next doctor’s appointment.
Learning about other risk factors of heart disease
Family history can indeed influence health risks , but there are plenty of other risk factors you can manage. Talk to your doctor about any of the following risk factors that may affect you:
- Alcohol consumption
- Tobacco use
- Overweight and obesity
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Poor nutrition
- Elevated blood sugar
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal cholesterol levels
It’s tough to change your lifestyle, but your doctor can help you learn how to make small changes gradually, which can make a big difference for your heart health.
Heart Center at MountainView Hospital provides patient-centered heart care with the help of cutting-edge medical technology and highly trained specialists. We are committed to giving families in Las Vegas the reliable medical information they need to make informed healthcare decisions. To request a referral, call a registered nurse at (702) 962-5021.