So far we've looked at things that you can do individually to stay heart-healthy and reduce your risk of heart disease. But it's not just about you; your genes also play a part in whether you're more likely to develop heart disease. Essentially, if a first-degree relative (such as a parent or sibling) had heart disease at an early age, your risk may be increased tenfold.
You can't do anything about your genes, of course, but knowing your family history is still important. For example, if you tell your doctor that you have relatives who had heart disease, he or she may be more likely to prescribe medication to help deal with conditions such as high cholesterol rather than suggest that you try managing it with exercise.
A family history of heart disease is just another reason to follow the tips we've suggested here. Not only can staying heart healthy increase your quality of life, you can also increase your lifespan and improve every aspect of your health.