Question: I recently had a recent heart attack and there is a strong history of heart disease in my family. Should I ask my family members to get screened for heart disease?
Answer: If you've had a heart attack at a young age -- normally we define a young age as less than 50 in a male and less than 60 in a woman -- we would certainly want your children to be screened because of the increased risk posed by the genetic predisposition.
So absolutely, having your children screened not only for their overall health, so a thorough examination, but also evaluation of their blood pressure, their blood sugar, their cholesterol levels. And we would recommend a complete lipid profile so that there's measurement not only of total cholesterol but also levels of the LDL or bad cholesterol, the triglycerides which are the blood fats, as well as the HDL or good cholesterol, is part of the overall screening process. And the age to begin this is probably going to be somewhere during the teenage or adolescent years.
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