Family History

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How Does My Family History Affect My Risk?

When a family member is diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, other family members may be encouraged to undergo screening to detect early stages of disease.

Aspects of family history that indicate a higher risk for heart disease include:

  • Early onset of cardiovascular disease — for instance, coronary artery disease women younger than 65
  • Cardiovascular disease in two or three relatives on the same side of the family
  • Late onset of cardiovascular disease on both sides of the family
  • The loss of a family member to sudden cardiac death

With the appropriate medical treatment, people at increased risk for heart disease can delay the onset and lessen the severity of the disease.