Heart disease remains the most pernicious killer in America today, as one in four deaths can be attributed to one or more of the conditions and diseases that affect our hearts. Heart disease can range from arteries becoming clogged, heart muscles themselves becoming enlarged, or irregularities in the valves of the heart.
Heart disease can emerge from genetic conditions, congenital defects, or poor lifestyle choices. As many as 1/3 of heart disease diagnoses can be attributed to genetic and congenital conditions, many of which can be alleviated by early treatment. Knowing the difference between the two categories can help you determine the cause of any symptoms you may be experiencing, and lead to a better prognosis in the future.
Lifestyle Heart Disease
Many factors in how we each live our lives may contribute to the health of our hearts. The food we eat, the amount of activity we get, and the substances we allow into our body have a tremendous impact on many of our organs, the heart highest among them.
Obesity, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle are some of the major contributing factors to many lifestyle-based heart diseases. Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), a disease caused by plaque building up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart itself, is extremely common and one of the most correlated with poor lifestyle choices. With each lifestyle factor, you become significantly more likely to acquire the disease, meaning with one factor chances were multiplied by 3, two by 7, and all three making you 23 times more likely to acquire CAD in your lifetime.
While CAD is the most common heart disease associated with lifestyle choices, almost all heart diseases are at least somewhat influenced by your choices. Heart health in general is highly sensitive to how you live your life, meaning high levels of activity, cessation of smoking, and weight reduction will most likely produce better health outcomes regardless of the origination of your heart condition.
Genetic Heart Disease
A number of heart diseases can originate from genetics and are passed down from our families. This can include congenital ventricle issues and other types of physical impairments, but the most common genetic heart conditions are the following:
- Cardiomyopathy – A disease that involves a weakening of the heart muscle, which makes it more difficult to pump blood throughout the body
- Arrhythmia – an irregular heartbeat that occurs when the electrical impulses that coordinate the heartbeat do not work properly, which causes a fast, slow, or irregular beat
- Arteriopathy – flaws in the circulatory system that cause irregularities in the flow of blood around the body
Genetic heart conditions are often accompanied by an early death, so it’s imperative that you get tested for one of these conditions if you know of a close or even a distant relative that died of a genetic heart condition. There are a number of different testing companies and methods, but only one that we recommend for its thoroughness and speed: My Concierge Heart Health test.
Where, When, and How To Get Tested For Genetic Heart Conditions
With many hospitals and clinics limiting the number of patients that can come in due to the COVID-19 pandemic, at-home testing is proving to be one of the most valuable options available to many people experiencing the symptoms of genetic heart diseases. Many companies offer take-home tests, but My Concierge’s genetic tests provide the most comprehensive and thorough results and a quick turnaround time for results.
If you know a family member who has died or has been diagnosed with a congenital or genetic heart condition, we highly recommend immediately ordering a genetic health test screening to determine whether or not you are in danger of having the same disease. The test is easy, painless, and quick, and if it helps catch a genetic heart condition early, the prognosis is much better than if diagnosed in the later stages of the disease.