As already known, genetic factors do contribute significantly to cardio-vascular heart diseases but recent advances in genetics have led to the identification of many Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, or SNPs — very small differences in our DNA that vary from person to person, which could diagnose the symptoms coronary heart disease or CHD, and help start treatment, said Indian Origin heart specialist Nilesh Samani.
Prof. Samani, who is taking over as next Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation in October 2016, is currently BHF Professor of Cardiology at the University, Head of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University, Director of the NIHR Biomedical Research Unit and a consultant cardiologist at Glenfield Hospital. In 2015 Professor Samani he was knighted by the Queen.
The risk factors as usual include high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, coupled with diabetes and smoking. But the score on such factors has always remained imprecise and many patients do miss diagnosis at an early stage. Now the University of Leicestoer researchers showed that by combining the two risk score tools — genetic and social habits — it is easier and more accurate to predict people who were at risk of developing CHD in the next 10-years.
“This study shows the potential benefits of using a genetic risk score over and above current methods to identify people at increased risk of coronary heart disease. We already know that CHD starts at an early age, several decades before symptoms develop, and preventative measures should ideally be applied much earlier, especially to those who are at increased risk,” said Nilesh Samani.
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one killer in the United States and in India too, it has become the leading cause of mortality. Besides genetics, which increases the risk of heart disease, some healthier lifestyle choices can improve the heart valves and heart condition.
Here are five important steps to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke:
Stop smoking — It is in your hands and can reverse the damage to your heart, if you listen to your heart beat.
Be Active: Don’t slip into a sloppy life but be active and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Once you are active, it enhances your mood, and acts as stress buster.
Diabetes: Control blood sugar levels in the body as it can lead to a heartattack or stroke, along with high BP and cholesterol level.
Watch Waistline: Obesity is another major cause behind heart attack. Be strict with your food and take healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Cut down on saturated fat, sugar and salt.