Can Cardiovascular Diseases be Hereditary?
Can Cardiovascular Diseases be Hereditary?
Cardiovascular diseases can be hereditary. Fortunately, even though you cannot control the genes you are born with, you may control how they affect your life.
For example, suppose your physician diagnoses you with cardiovascular genetic disease. In that case, our Modern Heart and Vascular Institute specialists will help you and your family members understand the risks and what you may do about it.
Our specialists are among the most experienced in detecting and treating all hereditary cardiovascular diseases. We are here to assist you and your loved ones in living life fully.
WHAT IS AN HEREDITARY CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE?
Unlike conditions related to aging or lifestyle, parents pass down hereditary cardiovascular diseases (sometimes called genetic or inherited cardiovascular disease) to you through their genes. These cardiovascular issues may be hereditary because they run in families.
If you have inherited any cardiovascular disease, you may probably need genetic testing and advanced diagnostics of your entire family. Taking these precautions helps your loved ones prevent potentially serious complications, giving everyone peace of mind now and in the future.
TYPES OF HEREDITARY CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES
There are many types of hereditary cardiovascular diseases that you may inherit. The most frequent include the following:
- BICUSPID AORTIC VALVE DISEASE
Bicuspid aortic valve disease is when the heart valve has only two flaps instead of three, causing it to leak or narrow.
Cardiomyopathy ensues when the heart muscle becomes thickened, enlarged, or stiff, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which may cause cardiac arrest in younger individuals, especially young athletes.
- MARFAN SYNDROME
Marfan syndrome damages the connective tissues in the heart and blood vessels, making it more prone to aneurysms.
Arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat, including Brugada syndrome, prolonged QT syndrome, and Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.
- CARDIAC AMYLOIDOSIS
Cardiac amyloidosis is when the heart accumulates protein deposits that hinder pumping.
- LOEYS-DIETZ SYNDROME
Loeys-Dietz syndrome is a connective tissue ailment that may lead to an aortic aneurysm.
- BLOOD CLOTS
Genetic factors that make the blood more prone to clotting may connect to clot formation. For example, factor V Leiden thrombophilia and prothrombin gene mutation are genetic disorders that may cause abnormal blood clots.
- VARICOSE VEINS
Varicose vein tendency condition may be genetic and passed down from generation to generation, and contributing factors are hormonal influences and a history of blood clots. Lifestyle and environmental factors may also play a role in developing varicose and spider veins.
- PERIPHERAL ARTERIAL DISEASE (PAD)
Medicine investigators have studied peripheral arterial disease for years to determine whether or not it is genetically transmitted. Peripheral arterial disease is a frequent circulatory condition where blood vessels become narrowed due to plaque buildup in the arteries.
The consequence is the reduction of blood flow to the extremities. So while walking may be painful, it is essential to keep moving to stimulate blood flow.
A genetic connection to peripheral arterial disease is unclear because individuals inherit many risk factors. These hereditary diseases and risk factors include high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Even though peripheral arterial disease may or may not be hereditary, other hereditary conditions influence it.
Regardless of genetics, you may prevent, treat, and mitigate vascular diseases and disorders to improve your quality of life.
At Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, our specialists can remove your varicose and spider veins with minimally invasive surgery. In addition, blood thinners and an active lifestyle may help reduce the risks of blood clots that can generate serious health problems, such as pulmonary embolisms. We also recommend a similar treatment for individuals with PAD.
Suppose you are concerned about your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases because of your family’s health inheritance. In that case, you can best keep a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity and a balanced diet with vegetables and fruits.
It is advisable to commit to not smoking or quit smoking for good if you have already picked up the habit. If you have any symptoms or signs of cardiovascular disease or your physician has diagnosed you, contact one of the cardiovascular specialists at any location of the Modern Heart and Vascular Institute.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEREDITARY HEART DISEASE
Signs and symptoms of genetic heart disease may vary and depend on the specific condition. Therefore, it is vital to consult a physician if you or some family members experience any symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of hereditary heart diseases may include the following:
- Chest pain
- Fatigue or inability to exercise
- Syncope (fainting)
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations (an impression that the heart is pounding or has skipped a beat)
DIAGNOSIS OF HEREDITARY CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
To diagnose hereditary cardiovascular disease, your physician will begin with a complete physical exam and ask you about your family background and any signs or symptoms you have.
GENETIC TESTING FOR HEREDITARY HEART DISEASE
We recommend genetic testing if you have symptoms or signs of a hereditary condition. In addition, we suggest that genetic counselors work with you every phase of the way to ensure you understand your test results.
If a genetic counselor detects a genetic mutation related to the disease, your physician may also recommend that your immediate family members get tested.
Taking these preventive measures helps loved ones know if they might be at risk and receive care as early as possible. Your physician may also recommend annual screenings to help prevent potential issues.
DIAGNOSTIC EVALUATIONS FOR CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
Your physician or healthcare provider may order diagnostic evaluations to check your heart function and rule out other cardiovascular conditions.
These heart and vascular diagnostic screenings may include the following:
Your physician utilizes an electrocardiogram to monitor your heart’s electrical activity via electrodes attached to your chest, legs, and arms that transmit information to a computer.
An echocardiogram consists of an ultrasound of the heart, such as a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE), to view the images of your heart valves and other structures.
The imaging experts will help the patient’s medical team to develop a complete picture of the heart’s health. Some cardiovascular imaging tests include the following:
A stress test is to know how the heart is functioning and if your heart is getting enough blood while you exercise.
**NUCLEAR CARDIOLOGY IMAGING
Nuclear cardiology imaging utilizes a few radioactive materials to create images of your body’s internal organs and structures to help see how the heart and related systems function.
**POSITRON EMISSION TOMOGRAPHY (PET)
PET involves the injection of a little radioactive chemical into the arm to create images of the body’s metabolic processes.
An x-ray imaging, such as a cardiac MRI or CT scan, to have a clear view of the internal body structures (a picture of your heart).
Cardiac catheterization involves a minimally invasive procedure to explore your heart’s internal structures.
Lab tests mainly include blood tests to detect heart disease or other health conditions.
The tilt-table test checks the heart’s blood pressure and electrical activity while changing physical position. For example, the table moves the patient from lying down to an almost-standing posture.
TREATING HEREDITARY CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES
Suppose your physician diagnoses you with a hereditary cardiovascular disease. In that case, we will help you and your family understand all the treatments available at Modern Heart and Vascular Institute. In addition, if you need a surgical procedure, our specialists are experts in minimally invasive methods to help you recover as quickly as possible.
Your physician may recommend one or more treatments to manage hereditary heart disease. Your plan of care will depend on your condition but may include the following:
- HEALTHY LIVING
Start or continue living a healthy life by avoiding smoking, caffeine, alcohol, and high-fat foods to improve your health.
- LIFESTYLE CHANGES
Introduce some changes to your lifestyle, such as weight loss or exercise, to help prevent or minimize the effects of any cardiovascular disease.
Your physician may prescribe some medications to help regulate how your heart functions or minimize the chance of blood clots.
- IMPLANTABLE CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATOR (ICD)
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a device that automatically corrects arrhythmia.
- CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY
Cardiovascular surgery is a great solution to repair or replace damaged valves, vessels, or other parts of your heart.
Comprehending cardiovascular disease is essential; you can get medical attention and a quick diagnosis. If you suspect you could have cardiovascular disease, seek medical attention.
Nothing contained in this blog pretends to substitute direct medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.
We use modern technology at Modern Heart and Vascular Institute to diagnose and treat our patients. We are committed to placing our patients first and presenting all the answers to your heart health and conditions queries. We are accepting most major insurance companies, including Medicare. Some appointments are available.
We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice. For more information, contact us.
CARDIOVASCULAR CENTERS IN HOUSTON, TEXAS
Modern Heart and Vascular, a preventive cardiology medical practice, has several offices around Houston. We have locations in Humble, Cleveland, The Woodlands, Katy, and Livingston.
We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice.
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At the Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, we offer state-of-the-art cardiovascular care with innovative diagnostic tools and compassionate patient care. Our priority at Modern Heart and Vascular Institute is prevention. We help patients lead healthier lives by avoiding unnecessary procedures and surgeries.
This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need cardiovascular care, please call us at 832-644-8930.