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While you’ve got the family round…

How much do you really know about your family health history? This year, doctors are encouraging us to take advantage of having the clan round the Christmas dinner table and ask Aunt Sally about her ticker

We’ve all been asked it, and it’s probably one of the most dreaded questions you can hear in a doctor’s surgery… ‘Is there a history of heart disease in your family?’

Hopefully the answer will be no, but isn’t it embarrassing when we aren’t quite sure? This year, doctors are encouraging people to take advantage of having the clan round the Christmas dinner table, and discuss the family’s medical history in order to tackle ill-health.

Those with family history may be at a 40 per cent higher risk of being affected than your average person, but this call from doctors follows research published by the University of Glasgow in the European Heart Journal.

Christmas Family

Early detection and treatment is crucial when it comes to heart disease. A study at Glasgow Blood Pressure Clinic on 10,787 individuals with a family history of heart disease found early intervention lowered their risk.

Dr Sandosh Padmanabhan of the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences said that although patients with a family history are referred around the age of 33-50 years, ‘we should be seeing these individual in their 30s or even their 20s… Family history is not only a link to the past, but also a bridge to future cardiovascular health’.

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