Q: I have a family history of heart disease, how will that affect my health?

A: Having close family members have a history of premature heart disease can indeed be a risk factor for the development of heart disease in you. Family history of premature coronary artery disease (CAD) mortality is defined as death due to CAD, myocardial infarction, or sudden death (defined as death associated with an unexplained and sudden collapse) before 55 years of age (for men) and 65 years of age (for women) in any first-degree relative or grandparent. The best way to calculate your risk is to download the American College of Cardiology’s (ACC) free ASCVD Risk Calculator, which you can find in the App Store for iPhone or the Android Store.

  Andrew M. Freeman, MD, FACC, FACP