Am I Genetically At Risk?

The weekend is here, and I am indulging in a bit of relaxation.  I picked up my most recent issue of Real Simple magazine, shamelessly kicked back on the couch (burning as close to “0” activity calories as possible!), and came across an article that looks at the genetic risk of developing various ailments and diseases (“Are You Destined to Become Your Mother”).

As I have mentioned before, my mother’s family suffers from heart disease, and I am watching my risk factors as I age to see if I can use healthy habits to avoid it.  According to cardiologist Nieca Goldberg, my risk of developing heart disease is probably 25 to 50% higher as a result of my family history.  Still, Goldberg says that “only half of cardiovascular disease is explained by these factors.”  Apparently, my weight, diet, and exercise habits give me significant control over my risk factors.  I guess it’s time to get off the couch now . . . !  Maybe not – stress management is important too.

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2 responses to “Am I Genetically At Risk?

  1. Kim,
    Mine is diabetes. My doctor thinks its not “if” but “when” I’ll become diabetic. But it is somewhat of a guessing game. My mother has it, my father had it, my aunt and uncle have it. All are/were overweight. I believe it mostly has to do with their eating habits. So I’m hoping since I haven’t followed in their footsteps of eating like they have for many years, that I’ll somehow avoid it or it won’t be as servere or require insulin. I’m sure going to keep trying.

    • kimthedietitian

      I think lifestyle is always important, and I think you have a great chance of either not becoming diabetic or being able to manage it without medications. Time will tell, but I like to think that we all have a lot of control over which of our family tendencies are activated by personal lifestyle. Most hereditary links to disease are not guarantees that we have to get them!

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