If someone in your family has had a heart attack, stroke, or has been diagnosed with atherosclerosis, you are at an increased risk for heart disease. Atherosclerosis, a condition in which fatty deposits build up in/on your arteries, can lead to complete artery blockage if left untreated. A heart attack is the result of complete artery blockage in a coronary artery while a stroke is the result of a clogged artery leading to the brain.
Your family history may increase your risk of heart disease if:
- Your father or brother had a heart attack before 55
- Your mother or sister had a stroke before the age of 65
- You have a close blood relative who has had a stroke/heart attack.
- While you can't change your family history, you can take steps to control your risk factors.