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Family history important in evaluating heart disease risk

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

In addition to providing cholesterol testing, doctors should inquire about their patients' family history to determine their long-term risk of developing heart disease, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The investigation was conducted by researchers from the University of Nottingham in the UK. The team said that previous studies have proven the value of family history in determining heart disease risk. However, assessing family history is still not considered a universal part of predicting heart disease risk.

In the present study, the researchers administered traditional measures of future cardiovascular disease risk, including cholesterol testing, to a group of participants. The team also collected family history questionnaires from half the individuals in the study. The results showed that doctors were much more accurate in their predictions of future heart disease risk when they had patients' family histories.

Nadeem Qureshi, who led the study, said the findings suggest that family history evaluations may be a simple and low-cost method to accurately predict a patient's long-range chances of developing heart disease, making it easier for doctors to recommend effective lifestyle interventions early on.

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