Living healthy would reduce genetic risks to heart disease

A study from Massachusetts General Hospital, (USA), published in the New England


The opposite is also true: you can throw away the benefit of good genes if you don't have healthy habits.

“DNA is not destiny, you are in control. Many people assume that if your father had a heart attack, you are destined for a problem, but no, ”said study leader Sekar Kathiresan.

Genes and lifestyle have been known to affect heart risk for years, but it is unknown how much influence each has and how much one factor can counteract the other.

The report collected data from 55,000 people around the world.

They were screened for 50 genes associated with heart risks and placed into five groups based on how many of them they had. They were also classified into groups, according to lifestyle: not being obese, exercising at least once a week, eating a healthy diet and not smoking. The "healthy" group had at least three of these factors, the "unhealthy" group one or none.

The results: People with higher genetic risk were twice as likely to develop heart disease as people with lower genetic risk. The unhealthy group also had twice the heart risk compared to the healthy one.

But there was a difference when all gene and lifestyle factors were combined.

“If you have an unfavorable lifestyle and a high genetic risk, the risk of a heart attack in the next 10 years is 10%, but with healthy habits it is 5%.

"If genetics have dealt bad decks, can they be overcome? The answer is yes," added Kathiresan.

Coping with the pressures of life

Heart disease has many other mental / bodily health connections that you should consider. Prolonged stress due to pressure at home, work, or from other sources can contribute to an abnormal rise in blood pressure and other circulatory problems. As with other diseases, the effects vary from person to person. Some people use stress as a motivator while others "explode" at the slightest problem.

The way you handle stress also influences the way your cardiovascular system responds. Studies have shown that if stress makes you angry or irritable, you are more likely to get heart disease or have a heart attack. In fact, the way you respond to stress may be a higher risk for heart problems than smoking, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.