Blame Your Genes for Stroke Risk

by Jodee on May 2, 2009

Your risk of having a stroke or developing early onset coronary artery disease may be genetic. Scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have discovered a single gene defect that causes these two health issues, as well as thoracic aortic aneurysms, ischemic stroke, and Moyamoya disease (a rare disorder affecting the cartoid arteries in the brain).

If someone has the mutated ACTA2 gene, then vascular screening tests can be ordered. Early diagnosis means that appropriate treatment can be started to lower the risk of disability or death. Family history is only one of the risk factors for coronary disease, and your lifestyle choices can help to reduce it.

Here are the basics you need to remember:

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Eat a balanced diet that is low in saturated fat.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Find a way to fight stress.
  • Have your blood pressure checked regularly.

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