Can Heart Disorders be Genetic?

Can Heart Disorders be Genetic?
What is a heart disorder? The term “heart disorder” refers to various kinds of heart conditions. The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease. This disease affects blood flow to the heart, decreasing it. Heart disorders include a group of diseases that have an impact on blood vessels and the heart. A person may or may not experience any symptoms. Sometimes people don’t know that they have a heart disorder until they get symptoms of a heart attack, arrhythmia, or heart failure. What are the symptoms of heart disorders? Symptoms of heart disorders vary as per the type of heart disorder:
      • Symptoms of blood vessel heart disorder: The heart disease affecting blood vessels is Coronary Artery Disease. It is a very common heart condition. It affects the blood vessels that supply heart muscles. For coronary artery disease, symptoms may vary for a man and a woman. In men, symptoms most likely can be chest pain, whereas women seemingly have more symptoms along with chest pain like shortness of breath, nausea, and extreme fatigue. The symptoms of this disease include:
        • Chest pain, chest discomfort, and chest tightness.
        • Pain in the upper belly area, back, neck, jaw, or throat.
        • Shortness of breath.
        • If the blood vessels in these body areas are narrowed, then the legs or arms may experience numbness, pain, coldness, or weakness.
        Coronary artery disease may not be diagnosed until you have a heart attack, a stroke, or heart failure.
      • Symptoms due to an irregular heartbeat: The heart may beat irregularly; it may beat too slowly or too quickly. Its symptoms include:
        • Lightheadedness.
        • Fainting or near fainting.
        • Chest pain or chest discomfort.
        • Dizziness.
        • Very fast heartbeat.
        • Shortness of breath.
        • Slow heartbeat.
        • Palpitation.
      • Symptoms due to congenital heart defects: This condition, if serious, can be noticed soon. Symptoms in children include:
        • Pale skin or blue lips.
        • Swelling around the eyes, belly area, or legs.
        • In an infant, poor weight gain is due to shortness of breath during feedings.
        Less serious congenital heart defects are generally not diagnosed easily and are often diagnosed until later in childhood or during adulthood. Symptoms of non-life-threatening congenital heart disease are:
        • Getting short of breath easily during any physical activity.
        • Getting easily tired during any physical activity.
        • Swelling in hands, ankles, or feet.
      • Symptoms caused by diseased heart muscle: During the early stages of cardiomyopathy, there are no noticeable symptoms, but as the condition deteriorates, symptoms may include:
        • Fainting or lightheadedness.
        • Fatigue.
        • Feeling short of breath.
        • Waking up from sleep short of breath.
        • Irregularity in heartbeat and palpitation.
        • Swollen legs, ankles, or feet.
    • Symptoms due to heart valve problems: Heart valve disease is a valvular heart disease, and depending on which valve isn’t working appropriately, its symptoms include:
      • Fainting.
      • Chest pain.
      • Fatigue.
      • Feeling short of breath.
      • Swollen feet or ankles.
      • Irregular heartbeat.
      Sometimes an infection occurs in the heart valves, their inner lining, and the inner lining of the heart chambers. This infection is called Endocarditis, and its symptoms include:
      • Dry cough.
      • Changes in heartbeat.
      • Fever.
      • Shortness of breath.
      • Skin rashes at unusual spots.
      • Swelling of the legs or belly area.
      • Weakness or fatigue.
Diagnosis of an inherited heart disorder: Scientifically, every person has approximately 20,000 to 25,000 genes. Heart conditions that are inherited are caused by faulty genes. If one of our parents has faulty genes, there is a probability of 50% that we could get those genes. There may be a lot of signs and symptoms that families don’t know about genetic heart disorders. If symptoms appear, they may include:
      • Chest pain.
      • Fatigue.
      • Palpitations.
      • Feeling lightheaded.
      • Shortness of breath.
      • Sudden cardiac death, which also includes sudden infant death syndrome.
To know if the patient doesn’t have any inherited cardiovascular disease, there are various tests that the doctor will conduct. First, the doctor will conduct tests to determine the present and future risk of a person having a cardiovascular disease. The doctor will take a personal and family medical history, and ask when the symptoms started occurring, and then administer a genetic test. After that, the doctor will recommend diagnostic tests. Which may include:
      • Cardiac Catheterization.
      • CT Scan.
      • MRI.
      • Echo.
      • EKG/ECG.
      • Stress test.
Types of inherited heart disorders: By conducting tests and following the pattern of heart disorders in the family, you can figure out if some other family member may also have the same medical condition as you. Types of inherited heart disorders may also include:
      • Cardiomyopathy.
      • Cardiac amyloidosis.
      • Heart arrhythmias.
      • Cardiac tumors.
      • Heart valve disease.
      • Familial thoracic aortic aneurysm syndrome.
      • High cholesterol.
      • Pulmonary hypertension.
      • Autoimmune Disease: A condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body.
To conclude, heart disorders can be genetic and can run in the family. So, if you have a heart disorder, it is better to get your family medical history checked to make sure that no other family member might have the same medical condition.
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