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What tests should I get done if I have a family history of heart disease?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 338 Questions
Heart disease is high on my dad's side. He passed away when he was 38, my uncle was 46, my g-father was 55 and now my 1st cousin was only 31. None of them were overweight, or to my kowledge heavy smokers. All but my 1st cousin were forest rangers so physically fit to a point. I'm 38 and wondering what tests I should get done? I've had regular cholesterol tests ( all have been normal), BP is 120 /85, 2 ECG's both normal, two stress tests, also both normal. Is there anything else I can check? I am physically fit. 5'6", 170 pounds. Not extremely lean, but have a fair amount of muscle mass. My weight varies +/- 8 pounds over the course of a year, depending on activity. When I do add weight it is always on upper chest and abdomen. Never Smoked. Just detailing the physical aspect to give a better idea of myself. Are there any tests a cardiologist would definitely recommend?
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Sumanth.P 59 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

You family history suggests higher familial incidence of heart diseases.

You also mentioned that they did not have any habits and were physically fit.

Heart disease comes under non communicable diseases, wherein multiple risk factors are involved in causing a disease.

Risk factors particularly involved in Heart disease are sedentary life style, Smoking, foods XXXXXXX in saturated fats like ghee, red meat.

Type -A personality which includes short temper, more emotional persons.

The other important risk factor is genetic as is in your case which manifests
from one generation to other.

Even blood pressure is a important risk factor.
B.P-below 120/80 is optimal level.
121/81-129/84 is average, would benefit from lowering it.
130/85-139/89 is on high side of normal and should be lowered.
140/90, Readings consistently high or above this have high levels and needs to be lowered.

The tests that you are undergoing which includes Lipid profile, Blood pressure monitoring and ECG are of very helpful. You can get stress ECG and ECHO(ultrasound of the heart) to rule out any possible causes and would be recommended by the Cardiologist.

You kindly inform your Cardiologist regarding your familial incidence, which would make him understand the genetic aspect of it and advises accordingly.

Hope I have answered your query. I will be available for your follow up queries if any.

Wishing you good health.

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