Our Genetic Structure and Our Heart

It is a fact that in some families, heart disease occurs at an early age and more frequently, although there are no risk factors. On the contrary, members of some families do not get heart disease despite smoking and not paying attention to their diet.

However, I would like to emphasize that genetics is not everything. If it were, we would have no fear of those who do not have heart disease in their family and would tell them ‘live as you want’. However, I have seen many patients who have had a heart attack, although there is no heart disease in their family. “ There is no heart in our family” I would like to warn those who do not pay attention to risk factors by saying; If you don’t want to encounter a surprise ” Don’t trust your genetic heritage.”

Our genetic makeup can play a decisive role in heart attack by affecting our blood fats, high blood pressure, and vascular structures. For example ” Familial hypercholesterolemia” The blood cholesterol levels of the patients we call are very high from birth. The diet of these people is not enough to bring their cholesterol levels back to normal and they have a heart attack at a very young age. Behind the news you read in the newspapers that “some football player had a heart attack during the match, and the deceased’s brother had a heart attack at a young age”, there are usually such familial cholesterol levels or genetic diseases related to blood clotting. For example, the inherited PLA-2 gene variant that caused the death of world-famous skater Sergey Grinkov, who died at the age of 28, is known as the “Grinkov risk factor”. Apart from this, there are also genetic transitions related to some heart protein genes. For example, in 60 million people carrying the MYBPC3 heart protein gene, mostly in India, a disease called cardiomyopathy, manifested by weakness of the heart pump, has been detected.

Studies show that genetic transmission is more important for women than men. In other words, women whose parents have coronary heart disease, although they do not have any other important risk factors, should be more careful.

Do I have a genetic heart risk?

To talk about a genetic risk, one of the family members must have had a heart attack at an early age. “ early age By “I mean; The male family member had a heart attack before the age of 55, and the female family member before the age of 65. For example, it is important for your father or uncle to have a heart attack at the age of 53, whereas if he had a heart attack at the age of 57, it is not considered early. For your mother or aunt, the age limit is 65. Problems after this age should not be included in the category of “early heart disease”. So the death of your father from a heart attack at the age of eighty-five does not mean that you have a genetic inheritance. One more note; Not only your family member having a heart attack but also having a stroke, having a stent inserted or undergoing a bypass is considered a genetic predisposition for early cardiovascular disease.

Let’s not forget that an early heart attack in a family member does not necessarily mean that you will also have a problem. For example, a person whose father had an early heart attack due to his cholesterol structure may have inherited the genetic structure of blood fats from his mother. Likewise, if a smoking father has an early heart attack, it is not a risk for you if you do not smoke. It should also be noted that the risk factor calculations may show a deviation of a few points.

Shall we do a genetic test?

By taking a careful family history and doing simple tests for blood fats, you can roughly estimate whether you have a genetic predisposition. For example, a person whose father has had a heart attack has high total cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol, which increases the likelihood of a genetic risk. Knowing the parents’ blood fats will make this comparison even easier.

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