Heart disease risk may be all in the family

Published: February, 2006

It's not just your genes; habits and attitudes also run in the family.

Heart disease is not exactly the same in the two sexes. Women develop the condition later in life; their symptoms are often different from men's or more subtle; and they are affected more by certain risk factors, such as high levels of triglycerides (a fat in the blood). But women and men also share many risk factors for heart disease, and one of the most important is family history.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise

New subscriptions to Harvard Health Online are temporarily unavailable. Click the button below to learn about our other subscription offers.

Learn More »