Heart disease is a very broad term and includes various heart conditions ranging from muscular, circulatory, to nervous conditions. For an individual to develop any heart disease, there are two definite sets of risk factors – the fixed ones and the variables. The fixed ones are those that cannot be majorly modified and include genes and advancing age. The variable ones are the lifestyle changes and include factors like stress levels, smoking, food habits, physical activity, etc.
There is a debate ongoing whether heart disease is genetic or a lifestyle condition. To sum up,
On one hand, in countries like USA, mortality and morbidity rates are declining due to heart diseases. On the other hand, there are developing countries where the incidence of heart disease is on the rise. The ability to predict family history and genetic correlation is not well established in these geographies, as heart disease as a condition does not date back to more than a couple of generations. Therefore, it is difficult to establish a strong family history and so it is more likely it is due to the new, altered lifestyle. It is highly likely that the heart disease did indeed run in families but it was never documented as an illness or a cause of death.
Lifestyle changes which affect the genetic makeup for heart disease:
So, while there is definitely a genetic connection, lifestyle changes can help in managing heart disease.