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Bad family genes, scared..

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Old 07-20-2005, 05:15 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 60
Vixen541 HB User
Bad family genes, scared..

ok. both sides of my family has heart problems. on dad's side, two of his syblings have had major heart surgeries and neither were over 55. one in fact, wasn't even 50. on my mom's side, she too had two syblings have heart problems, only they had attacks and died before they were even 46. obviously i am worried about my genes. but how much of a chance do i have fighting heredity over how i manage my own health? i try to do cardio at least 3-4 days a week for 35-45 minutes. also, i try to eat right. i cut out white processed foods, don't eat much fast food other than those salads and rarely have chips and other things. i know occasionally, maybe a free day a week is okay. but what else can i do to take care of my heart. i am so concerned about my family's history.

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Old 07-20-2005, 09:51 AM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 371
Cher2005 HB User
Re: Bad family genes, scared..

Vixen, I have the bad family history too, on my fatger's side. I inherited the familiar cholestorol and my numbers run in the high 400's without medicine. I take statins and plenty of them.
All you can do is NOT smoke, watch cholestorol, blood pressure, exercise and watch your diet and your weight.
I was playing with fire with diabetes, heavy smoking, high cholestorol etc. I had to have triple bypass and was lucky to catch it when I did as I was heading for a heart attack.

Old 07-20-2005, 02:27 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 34
Wintergarden HB User
Re: Bad family genes, scared..

Hi Vixen,

It sounds like you are doing a really good job of taking care of your heart! Don't let yourself feel doomed by your family history - it's only a portion of your risk profile. It does mean you need to be extra vigilant, but you CAN take charge of the situation.

My suggestion would be to get yourself an advanced lipid profile test, such as a VAP test. This will really give you a lot of information about your heart health, and may help pinpoint what sort of risk factor, if any, you may have inherited. Depending on what is discovered, you can fine tune both your diet and medication/supplements to give you the best results, tailored to your particular characteristics.

And it might serve to reassure you that things don't look so bleak!

Btw, when I had my recent cardiac evaluation, the cardiologist was only interested in first degree relatives - I could have had your exact family history and it would never have come up! But I think you're wise to be extra careful of course - I'd just hate to see it become a source of great worry, because you're probably a very healthy person

Kudos to you for taking such good care of yourself, and let us know where you decide to go from here.

Old 07-20-2005, 08:23 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 183
heartcreature HB User
Re: Bad family genes, scared..

Actually I've heard that you are more at risk if your siblings and not your parents are the ones with heart disease. I however do not fit that profile. My father had a heart attack at age 58. Two of his brothers had heart attacks and one had a stroke. His father died from a aneurisym of the brain. My mothers father and a sibling had heart attacks. A female cousin had a heart attack in her late 30's (very thin but a smoker). I was in my early 40's and am female. I have three younger brothers. At least one has very low HDL level (like myself). Both our total cholesterols have always been below 200. He has not had a heart attack and in fact had a cath a year ago which indicated that his arteries were clear. One brother will not have his cholesterol checked. Says that if you go to the doctor they will find something wrong with you. The other brother is very overweight and takes high blood pressure medication. I actually worry more about the one who refuses to get checked out than I do the two who have known problems.
Anayway, try not to stress over it too much. It sounds like you are taking very good care of yourself. I thought I was taking pretty good care of myself but when I look back my diet wasn't the best and I had become much less active than in my earlier years. Just keep up what you are doing. I think it's pretty good insurance.

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