IS HEART DISEASE GENETIC?

Genetics play an important role in your overall health, and your heart is no exception. When it comes to heart disease risks, there are some that can be controlled, such as smoking and inactivity, and some that can't – such as your family history or genetics.

HEART DISEASE CAN BE HEREDITARY, BUT YOU CAN WORK WITH YOUR DOCTOR TO MANAGE YOUR RISKS.

It’s important to know your family history. Your risk of cardiovascular disease is higher if there's a pattern of heart disease in your family. But what does "a family history of heart disease" really mean? You may be at increased risk if:

  • Your father or brother was diagnosed with heart or vascular disease before age 55, or your mother or sister before age 65.
  • Your parent or sibling has high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
  • Your parent or sibling has had a stroke.
  • Your parent or sibling has had coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), angioplasty or another intervention to treat cardiovascular disease.
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You can’t control your family history, but you can control other risk factors.

According to the American Heart Association®, the more risk factors you have – and the more severe they are – the greater your risk of heart disease. So, while you may not be able to do much about inheriting the risk, you can help manage genetic vulnerabilities by focusing on the risk factors you can control.

Most importantly, if you smoke – quit. You should also try to get regular exercise, whether you dance, swim, or just take a walk (be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise routine). Eating habits matter too – be sure to fill your plate with colorful, heart-healthy fruits and vegetables. Finally, try to reduce the stress in your life and enjoy yourself more. These steps are a great way to live a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Aspirin regimen products for recurrent heart attack prevention

Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen.

HEART ATTACK SURVIVOR STORIES

elderly woman smiling

BETTY B

"I am thankful for each day and the opportunities it brings to share my experiences with others."

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older male with young child

KEN L

"I’ve changed my diet to minimize fat and salt. I’m learning to read labels and make healthy choices."

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elderly woman smiling

CINDY B

"It all comes down to listening – the cardiologists listening to us, and not just with their stethoscopes – and us listening to the cardiologists. Without both of these, there are no winners!"

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middle aged man with sunglasses and baseball cap

RANDY W

"I now take a low dose Bayer Aspirin regimen, and I was told that the aspirin I was given during my heart attack helped save my life! Thanks for being there for me Bayer!"

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This tool is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, medical advice, or medical treatment. Contact your healthcare provider after using the tool to discuss your heart health or if you have any health concerns.

Estimated risk of a cardiovascular event, specifically, the risk of a heart attack (myocardial infarction or MI) or stroke in the next five years.