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Is Heart Disease Hereditary?

Yes! You can inherit a predilection to heart disease but thankfully there are ways around the condition.  You may have a little more control over the situation than you think if you pay attention to your fitness.



As an example, there is evidence that if your family has a history of coronary artery disease at an early age (younger than 55 in men and 65 in women), your risk of suffering heart disease is increased, with some sources suggesting that this single factor could represent up to 15% of your susceptibility to heart disease.



However you may be relieved or upset to hear that it is actually a combination of conditions that can play a far more important role in determining how healthy your heart remains.



For instance, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and cholesterol abnormalities are all factors which play an important role in determining whether you will suffer heart problems or not. If you bring diabetes onto yourself by living an unhealthy lifestyle then you very well might develop heart disease sooner than later than life.



It is for example widely recognized within medical circles that one of the reasons behind the explosion in childhood diabetes over the past two or three decades has been the vast increase in sugar intake.

For people who have a family history of diabetes however, there is no need for this massive sugar overdose for them to suffer the condition. It is a genetic thing rather than something that is caused by greed and overindulgence.


In many situations, there may therefore be an established link between illnesses and medical problems suffered by parents and the likelihood of their offspring suffering heart problems at some point.



If you know that one or both of your parents suffered diabetes and that your chances of suffering the condition are therefore increased, logic suggests that you have a superb early warning system in place.

You know that your chances of getting diabetes are higher than normal, you know that excessive sugar speeds the onset of diabetes and you are fully well aware that diabetes is a contributory factor to heart disease.



This is positive because you have a clear warning about the disease an idea of what you need to do in order to prevent the onset of diabetes and then the heart problems that usually follow it.



So, yes, there is an element of genetics involved in the likelihood of you contracting some form of heart disease or problem.

But once you know this you can use the information to help yourself avoid the entire ordeal of heart disease altogether.



The Causes of High Blood Pressure

If you have high blood pressure than you may be informed that there are two different kinds. There is essential or primary hypertension and there is secondary hypertension.


According to the American Heart Association, there is no single identifiable cause of primary hypertension, but the causes of secondary hypertension are a little more obvious.


However, there are many factors that are well known to cause a case of primary hypertension. These factors include:


Being overweight. It makes sense that the greater your body mass the harder your heart is going to have to work to pump blood. This results in an increase in pressure on the arterial walls.

Sleep apnea – You snore and your windpipe is cut off during brief periods when you stop breathing while you are asleep

Low Activity – Lazing around can also be a factor. If you do not exercise, your heart works harder to pump blood.

Family history or genetics. It is a fact that high blood pressure can often run in particular families.

Tobacco use. Certain chemicals in cigarettes and tobacco can cause damage to blood vessel walls, thereby increasing the work that your heart has to do to pump blood through vessels.

Stress. The heart pounds and creates high blood pressure. Stress also makes people binge on fatty foods.

Sodium intake. Excessive salt intake can result in increased fluid retention, which in turn leads to increased blood pressure.

Potassium intake. Having excessively low levels of potassium can result in elevated levels of sodium in body cells because potassium and sodium seek a natural balance. An imbalance causes an increase in blood pressure.

Excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of heart problems; particularly it is continued for a significant period of time.


Secondary hypertension problems are generally caused by pre-existing medical conditions like kidney or renal disease.  If this is the case you are probably already being treated for high blood pressure as part of the condition.  Kidney problems, heart problems and general blood vessel damage are often a consequence of high blood pressure.


Once you have this type of damage it is hard to correct it. It is important to stay fit so that you never develop the symptoms of either primary or secondary hypertension.  Medications prescribed for these include beta-blockers, enzyme inhibitors, diuretics, vasodilators, calcium channel blockers and aspirin.  Most of these drugs are expensive and you might have to take them the rest of your life if the high blood pressure starts to affect your kidneys.