13 Dec, 2018 Have a #FamilyHistree conversation this Festive Season
The festive season is a great time to connect with family and friends over food and drink. What’s more, families have time to catch up on the year and share conversations of stories, experiences and laughter. That is why this Christmas, we are encouraging families to continue this discussion to talk about their #FamilyHistree of heart disease.
This simple conversation takes ten minutes and has the potential to save your life, or the life of someone you love.
Not sure what you need to know? Not a worry, we have put together a printable family tree to help start the conversation.
If you do have a history of heart disease in your immediate family, this can increase your own risk. But, it’s not all bad news! This conversation will help you identify your risk, help you make lifestyle changes, and monitor your heart health in the future.
Why do I need to know my family history?
Genes can pass on the risk of heart disease. They can also be responsible for passing on other conditions like high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels, which are risk factors of heart disease. If one of your parents is diagnosed with heart disease, or has a heart attack before they’re 55, it means that your risk of having a heart attack increases by 40 per cent.
What do I need to know?
Find out if your brothers, sisters, parents or grandparents have or have had heart disease/heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, high blood sugar/diabetes, or high cholesterol and how old they were when they developed these diseases. This list might sound overwhelming, but if you download our family tree, they’re just boxes to tick!
I have discovered that I have a family history, what do I do now?
Let your doctor or GP know this information. They may choose to conduct further checks, like blood pressure or cholesterol, or monitor you more closely into the future. And make sure you encourage other family members to do the same!
The good news is that there are many risk factors you CAN control! Eating healthily, being physically active and quitting smoking are just a few. Find out how to reduce your risk by visiting our risks page.