I’m 25 years old, and my father recently passed away at the age of 44, due to various complications of heart disease. Because of my family history, how likely it is that I will develop heart disease?
Family history is an important risk factor for heart disease, but it’s just a risk, not a prediction that you’ll keel over tomorrow. It is one of numerous risk factors, such as cholesterol, age, race, smoking and others. Don’t forget, you also have family history on your mother’s side.
Your family history does raise your risk of developing heart disease. The good news is that you’re very young and you can take steps to help counter that risk over your lifetime. You can make the necessary lifestyle changes to reduce your heart disease risk in other areas, for example, quitting smoking, exercising, losing weight and reducing stress.
You can also start having your cholesterol tested now, as opposed to waiting until your older. Same thing goes for regular check-ups, and given your background, you may want to start seeing a heart specialist.