From genes to lifestyles, family shares such things that have a deep impact on their health and sometimes, it make them vulnerable to certain heart diseases.
Heart diseases have higher chances to run in a family and it becomes severe as you grow old.
Genetics, DNA and Family History – How are they interconnected?
DNA is what parents pass on to their kids and this process is called heredity. DNA is an important genetic material and a chemical substance of heredity. No sets of DNA are same unless you have your identical twin. We all have variations in our DNA sets that make us unique from our siblings in terms of hair color, skin color, shape, etc. Sometimes, these variations cause some serious cardiovascular disease like coronary artery disease. And you are prone to these heart conditions when you follow an unhealthy lifestyle such as smoking, unhealthy diet, etc.
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If you feel any of signs or symptoms related to severe heart conditions, consult a well-experienced heart doctor as soon as you can. It’s a matter of health. Don’t ignore such signs!
“Did you know? Heart diseases have a different impact on different races. In 2013, heart disease was the leading cause of death among non-Hispanic whites and blacks as well as American Indians in the United States. It was the second leading cause of death after cancer among Hispanics, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.”
What are the most common inherited heart conditions?
Aortic Aneurysms: The aorta, being the main blood vessel, carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. An aortic aneurysm is a severe heart condition in which the aorta becomes enlarged making the surrounding tissue weaker and susceptible to rupture. The older people and people with uncontrolled high blood pressure are the main victims of aortic aneurysms. Somehow, genetics play a main cause behind it and this occurs when:
- It develops at the age of 50-60 with no sign of high blood pressure.
- It runs in the family.
- You have other problems as well related to eye, bone or joints. These are the symptoms of Marfan syndrome.
About 20 percent of people with aortic aneurysms have a strong connection with genetics as the leading cause.
Coronary Artery Disease: Also known as ‘clogged arteries’, is a condition when the blood vessels leading to your heart are blocked resulting in heart attack or heart dysfunction. Being the leading cause of death in the United States, an unhealthy lifestyle is the main reason behind CAD.
Somehow, have you ever thought why people with a healthy lifestyle still get the heart attacks? Well, it is usually because of genetics.
The primary monogenic disease-assuring predisposition to CAD is familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). It is a genetic disorder in which cholesterol levels are quite high that is not due to an unhealthy lifestyle factor, but because of your genes. Approximately 1 in 250 people are affected by FH.
In a recent survey based on population and siblings data, it has been concluded that 40-60 percent of people are prone to CAD due to genetic factors.
Bicuspid Aortic Valve: The aortic valve is located between the left ventricle of the human heart and aorta. It controls the blood flow between the left side of the heart and body. Typically, it is tricuspid indicating that there are three leaflets that open and close simultaneously.
About 1-2 percent of the population suffers from the bicuspid aortic valve with two leaflets. If ignored, it becomes worse over time causing blood flow problems and leads to aortic aneurysms.
It is highly related to genetic causes. If a person has BAV, there is a 30% of chance that a close family member also has it.
If you think that the main reason behind your heart conditions is the genetic cause, talk to your genetic specialist as soon as you notice the very first sign. Your doctor will go through your and your family medical reports to see if the genetic disease runs in your family. It helps you and your family. The doctor will tell who is at risk in your family and give some recommendations.