if you have a family history of heart disease – especially if it was a first-degree disease such as premature heart disease in your parents, siblings, or child (before age 55 in men and 65 in women) If you have relatives – you’re also more likely to get heart disease.
In fact, having a family history of heart disease This means that you have a nearly 40 percent higher chance of contracting the disease. This means you should get tested for any factors that may indicate a higher risk of heart disease and see your doctor to check for markers of heart disease. Your doctor can then help you design a plan to help reduce your risk based on your results.
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But how early should you get screened?
According to the American College of Pediatrics, a person who has a family history of heart disease They should be tested only at the age of 13, as their risk of suffering from heart disease is two to three times higher.
What parameters should you get checked?
Some of the most important include:
*Assessing your lifestyle for obesity, lack of exercise, smoking or using any form of tobacco, and drinking wine,
Get checked for high blood pressure.
* Get your blood sugar level checked, and get tested for diabetes.
*Your lipid profile is and cholesterol level was checked.
Another factor you should probably keep an eye on is any signs and symptoms of heart disease. These include chest pain, especially on exertion and breathlessness, While there are many other symptoms, it is best to consult your doctor for further evaluation.
There are ways to reduce that risk. You can do this:
reduce weight: if you’re overweight Or obesity, it will help your heart lose some weight and reduce the risk of suffering from heart disease.
Eat healthy: Include more fruits and vegetables, nuts and some types of fish and poultry in your diet and avoid fatty foods, red meat, dairy products, processed meats and sugary treats.
Get enough exercise At least 30 to 40 minutes of moderate exposure aerobic Activity five days a week is essential for a healthy heart. Today, a great way to find out if you’re getting enough exercise is to walk at least 10,000 steps a day.
Lower your cholesterol level: get your cholesterol Checking level is the first step. Next is to work on lowering them if they are high.
Control your blood sugar level: diabetes, especially uncontrolled high blood sugar level Can increase the risk of suffering from heart disease. So, keep those numbers under control to keep your heart healthy.
Control your blood pressure: Another factor that affects the proper functioning of your heart is high blood pressure. when uncontrolled, high blood pressure Increases the force of blood passing through your arteries and can damage their walls, which can affect your heart.
Stay away from stress Stress, especially psycho-social stress, can affect your heart and its functioning. Therefore, doing things that help you overcome stress can go a long way in keeping your heart healthy.
Lastly, having a family history of heart disease does not necessarily mean that you will suffer from the same condition. You just need to be aware of the risk factors and take appropriate action to help prevent its onset.
(The author is a Senior Interventional Cardiologist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi)
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