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Heredity is usually described as one of the minor risk factors of heart disease. Despite that description, the role of heredity should not be underestimated.
There are hereditary elements present and common to all of the lifestyle diseases and individual coronary risk factors. Usually these factors can be controlled, suppressing the role of heredity in the disease process. Were it not relatively controllable it would be easy to blame heredity for all the problems that arise.
Although blaming heredity would be a far too simplistic overview, we would be partly justified in taking that line of thought, for without doubt we do inherit genetic weaknesses that might surface sooner or later.
A developing fetus inherits forty-six chromosomes, twenty-three from each parent. Itâ€™s estimated that there might be as many as sixty-four billion different chromosome combinations in one, fertilization. Genes contained in the chromosomes are responsible for our physical development â€” including height, body size, constitution, appearance, personality, temperament, intelligence, co-ordination, reactions, metabolism, disease resistance, and a whole host of other features and qualities.
Naturally, then, there are unlimited possibilities for something to go wrong or for abnormalities to occur. One or both of the parents may carry a particular genetic tendency without showing any signs or symptoms of its presence. A child, born to parents inheriting these potential genetic abnormalities, may display the characteristics of the particular condition at some point. However, special diagnostic procedures detect those at risk (even before birth) and, along with genetic counseling, the suitable intervention is made.
Heredity and Your Heart
Apart from hereditary heart diseases, it must be emphasized that even where these factors are inherited it is the tendency or potential that is inherited rather than the actual disease. Heredity does not usually the reason behind the disease.
All the evidence suggests that where the environment and lifestyle are at their most favourable, the related disease patterns do not generally occur. Congenital heart disease is the failure of the heart or large blood vessels to develop normally. There are a variety of causes in which heredity may or may not play a role.
Your Heredity and Life-Style
In many instances, take obesity as an example, it is quite clear that it is familial attitudes and behavior that determines the lifestyle. A growing child, for the most part, observes and conforms to domestic practice. Thus type, quantity and quality of food, attitudes to exercise and a healthy life-style, are largely determined without too much individual thought. Under such conditions poor habits are likely to be perpetuated. Adopting good health practices based on personal choices afford the individual the best protection.
Iâ€™m not saying that adopting the best life-style available will guarantee the absence of any particular disease or condition.
In the majority of cases it will help to prevent their development. It should be understood that while diabetes, arthritis, allergic conditions, and cancer all have hereditary features, there is no certainty that the individual will develop any of these complaints.