Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Family history plays a major role in heart health

Date:
January 31, 2013
Source:
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Summary:
If you exercise, eat right and don't smoke, a history of heart disease in your family can still put you at risk -- even if you are a female.

Sherron Simmons lived her life as the picture of good health: she exercised regularly, ate healthy and did not smoke. That is why it was a shock for her to learn in 2007 that the main left artery to her heart was 90 percent blocked.

"I knew heart disease ran in my family, but I thought my chances of getting heart disease were very slim; especially since I was never overweight and knew I was doing things to prevent it," Simmons explained.

University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Epidemiology Professor and Chair Donna Arnett, Ph.D., says family history is one of the strongest predictors of heart disease.

"If you look at how heart disease occurs, about 80 percent takes place in people with a strong family history," said Arnett, who is serving as the president of the American Heart Association (AHA).

Simmons is such a case. Three years after her first brush with heart disease, she would go on to suffer two heart attacks and need a heart transplant. After Simmons waited on the list for eight months, UAB cardiothoracic surgeon James Kirklin, M.D., performed her heart transplant on May 22, 2011.

"I've learned a lot, and now I know you need to check on your good and bad cholesterol levels and exercise," Simmons said.

Arnett said this message goes hand in hand with following the AHA's "Life's Simple 7": getting active, controlling cholesterol, eating better, managing blood pressure, losing weight, reducing blood sugar and quitting smoking.

"Though we know those seven major factors, we still don't completely know all of the causes of heart disease," Arnett said. "But with a family history, even in the absence of those risk factors, heart disease is still possible. It's important to know family history."

Arnett added that for people who are adopted or have no way of knowing their family's history of heart health, it becomes even more important they monitor their numbers by visiting a doctor and having necessary screenings.

Arnett added that heart disease is the number-one killer of women.

"It's not a man's disease or woman's disease; it's a person's disease," Arnett said. "The signs of a heart attack can be different than typical chest pain in the center of your chest. If you're experiencing something that makes you feel 'off,' whether it be extreme fatigue, shortness of breath or pain in the upper body, back or neck, go and have it checked out."

"Life is a gift, and we need to take care of ourselves," Simmons said. "I've been given a second chance. We are all given second chances each day we're alive, and we need to act on that."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alabama at Birmingham. The original article was written by Nicole Wyatt. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Family history plays a major role in heart health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130131144144.htm>.
University of Alabama at Birmingham. (2013, January 31). Family history plays a major role in heart health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130131144144.htm
University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Family history plays a major role in heart health." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130131144144.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins