What to Do if Heart Disease Runs in Your Family

If heart disease runs in your family, you may be nervous about your chances of developing this condition. However, having a family history of heart disease doesn't necessarily mean you will have a heart problem. Nonetheless, you need to be vigilant and proactive to protect your heart and remain as healthy as possible throughout your life. 

About Heart Disease 

Heart disease encompasses a number of conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels. However, when the term "heart disease" is used, it's most often referring to cardiovascular disease, which is a condition that involves blocked or narrow blood vessels. If left untreated, cardiovascular disease can lead to chest pain, heart attack and stroke. 

How to Protect Yourself

A family history of heart disease isn't the only risk factor that can make this condition more likely. Other risk factors for heart disease include smoking, high blood pressure, poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, obesity and poor hygiene. Minimizing or eliminating any of these risk factors can help to protect you from heart disease. 

Even with no risk factors aside from your family history, heart disease is still a possibility. For this reason, it is important to see a cardiologist regularly if you are at risk for heart disease. Your cardiology doctor will monitor the health of your heart over time and look for any signs of heart disease. He or she will also be able to prescribe appropriate treatments and/or recommend lifestyle changes to deal with any heart problems you may develop. 

How do cardiologists evaluate the heart?

Your cardiologist may perform a variety of tests to evaluate your heart function, depending on any symptoms you are experiencing, as well as your level of risk. Some of the tests cardiologists order to evaluate heart function include:

  • EKG
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Blood tests
  • Stress test 
  • Holter monitoring

Your cardiologist will let you know which of these tests you need, as well as the purpose of each test. 

If you are concerned about the possibility of heart disease, please contact Premier Heart & Vein Care today to make an appointment. 

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