A number of studies have shown that approximately half of the risk for development of heart disease is genetic or inherited and the other half is environmental. The interaction of the genetic susceptibility or predisposition interacts with the environmental factors such as our diet, smoking, exercise habits, etc. and those interactions will determine whether or not we will develop heart disease. There are now a number of genetic variants that we can identify today that have been approved for clinical testing. Some of these genetic markers provide additional information beyond the traditional risk factors and some other genetic variants can predict an individual's response to a certain number of medications. Several of these genetic tests are now clinically available and can be tested through physician's offices.
Emanuel J. Coroneos, MD
Specialty: Internal Medicine
- internal medicine
Location and Office HoursAdvanced Kidney Care Medical Associates
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
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How can I identify genetic hot spots for CAD health and screening?
Piedmont Heart Institute answered
What type of doctor would I see for dizziness and shaking?
You will likely first see your primary care physician to see if these symptoms may be related to an endocrinologic problem such as diabetes or thyroid disorder, or potentially cardiac in origin such as an arrhythmia like atrial fibrillation. If there is a sense of the room spinning or rotational movement, this is called vertigo which can be better evaluated by a neurologist.
If I have a family history of heart disease, can diet reduce my risk?
Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answeredOne of the most common causes of inherited heart disease is a nasty gene called 9p21, and major recent research shows that if you have it, what you eat can prevent a heart attack.
Just go to the grocery store and pile your cart with fresh vegetables and fruit. Something in fresh produce, especially veggies, turns this genetic bully into a wimp. What that something is isn't clear yet, but who cares? If heart disease runs in your family and 9p21 is why, eating lots of fresh veggies and fruit cuts your risk of the family heart attack so much that it's as if you didn't get the gene.
Say you and your neighbor have the gene. You're not a nutritional saint (dessert happens) but your diet is also packed with carrots, broccoli, spinach, berries, apples, and artichokes. Your neighbor eats a typical American diet (meaty, sugary, salty, fatty). Your healthy eating lowers your heart attack risk. Your neighbor's? It doubles.
Significantly reducing heart disease is not a far-fetched idea. If every American stopped smoking, started walking, managed stress, and ate a ton-o-veggies, heart disease could go extinct. Make it happen in your house.
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