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Every year, we try and take a step forward towards better health. Since the heart is one of the most critical organs in our body, knowing how to keep a track of your cardiac health is of utmost importance. This is now possible with preventive genetic testing!
The heart is one of the hardest working organs in our body, beating over 100,000 times a day without a moment’s rest to keep us going. Heart disease is the leading cause of death globally, causing about 17.9 million deaths every year. But guess what? About 80% of cardiovascular disease, including stroke, can be prevented.
It is never too early to start taking care of your heart. There are very few people who do not have cholesterol or pressure issues, once they are past 40. We should not take these numbers lightly. High cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease and can also lead to heart attack and stroke. High blood pressure increases your risk for all these three conditions and can also lead to peripheral artery disease, vision loss, and kidney disease or failure.
Heart health affects your mental health as well. Having heart disease can increase your chances of feeling depressed. Studies show that 33 percent of heart attack victims show signs of depression. Poor heart health has also been linked to dementia, as it affects blood flow to the brain. Thus, the functioning of the heart has an impact on many aspects of your physical and emotional health.
To take proper care of your heart, you need to know more about the factors that affect heart health. Some of the top risk factors for cardiac disease are a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes, obesity, lack of exercise, and poor dietary choices. We cannot control hereditary factors, but we can try to understand them and take proactive action accordingly.
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. Your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke is higher if your father, mother, brother, or sister had a heart attack before the age of 50. Having such a family history not only increases your risk of heart disease, but also increases your risk of the factors that lead to heart disease.
A simple DNA test can give you inside information on how your unique DNA profile affects your risk for conditions like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. There was a time when such a DNA test was highly expensive and had to be performed in a laboratory setting. But today, you can easily get insights on your risk for heart disease with an affordable at-home DNA test.
Taking a DNA test and making smarter lifestyle choices on the basis of the test results can help you reduce your risk of cardiac disease. These lifestyle changes can include getting more exercise, drinking more water, adding more fiber to your diet, reducing stress with techniques like meditation, losing excess weight, and reducing sugar and other processed foods.
A DNA test can reveal food sensitivities, specific requirements for vitamins and minerals, and can indicate which workouts can work best for optimal fitness, based on your genetic profile. It can tell you more about your sleep patterns, sensitivities to food, your brain health, metabolism, risk of sports injuries, and even skin health.
If a preventive genetic test can help you identify disease risks and prompt you to take proactive action for better heart health, it just could be the smartest choice you ever make.