Q&A with Dr. James Rippe: Women's Heart Health
Heart Health & Heredity
Q: How important is heredity to a woman's heart health?A: Family history of premature atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is a significant risk factor for heart disease. If a woman has any first-degree relative (brother, sister, mother, or father) who has suffered symptomatic heart disease before the age of 60, she has a significantly increased risk of heart disease.
Q: What is symptomatic heart disease? A: Symptomatic heart disease is simply when an individual has chest discomfort or shortness of breath caused by underlying cardiac problems.