Family Health History of Heart Disease
If you have a family health history of heart disease, you are more likely to develop heart disease yourself.
Different types of heart disease and related conditions, like high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol, can run in families. Knowing your family health history of heart disease and related conditions is one of the first steps you can take to prevent heart disease and heart attacks in the future.
Tell your doctor if your parents, sisters, brothers, children, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, or nephews have or have had
- Heart disease, including
- High blood pressure
- Pacemakerexternal icon
- Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) (also called coronary angioplasty) with or without stentexternal icon
- Heart bypassexternal icon or other heart surgery
Based on this information, your doctor may suggest steps to prevent or treat heart disease. If you have been diagnosed with heart disease or related conditions, it is important to tell your family members.
Tips on collecting your family health history
- Include your parents, sisters, brothers, children, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews
- Make sure you include both your mother’s and father’s sides of the family
- Note which relatives have had heart disease, related conditions, or procedures and the age at which they were diagnosed or treated
- List the age and cause of death for relatives who have died
- Share your family health history with your doctor and family members
- Update your family health history regularly and alert your doctor to any new diagnosis, condition, or procedure
If you are concerned about your personal or family health history of heart disease, talk to your doctor. If you need help getting started, you can use the My Family Health Portrait tool to collect and share your family health history information. If you or your family members have very high cholesterol levels or have had heart attacks or heart disease at a young age, you might have a family history of familial hypercholesterolemia.