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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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heart disease is it hereditary?

If everyone in a person's family died from heart disease, does that put the person at increased risk? Will this person most likely die from heart disease, or a similar cardiovascular disease?
Mon, 14 Dec 2009
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The short answer to your question is yes. My family has a history of heart disease. My grandfather (dads side) died of a heart attack at 69, which may not seem that unusual, but my father died at 54 of a heart attack, and I had my heart attack at 39. It is unusual that they were all 15 years earlier in each case. When I say heart attack, we all had plaque buildup in major arteries (heart disease). My doctor suggested that my son have a cholesterol check and just some standard tests done at age 20, which he will be in a few months. Diet and excercise are very important to help prevent heart disease, but if you have a family history, it may not be enough. See you doctor if this is a concern. Luckily I lived through my heart attack. Considering I had a 100% blockage in my left anterior descending artery when I arrived at the hospital. That artery is called the widow maker...get the picture. I had typical symptoms, shortness of breath, the feeling of an elephant on my chest, and pain in my right jaw. I didn't ignore the symptoms, although my tendency was to do so. I went to the hospital instead of work that day, and it is the only reason I am alive today. I hope this helps you some. If you have a history, I urge you to see a doctor and go over your history and options. The earlier the better.
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