But some people feel powerless to prevent it: Many of the risk Billions of dollars are spent every year on medications that reduce the risk of heart disease — the No. 1 killer in the United States.factors seem baked into the cake at birth. Genetic factors can have a huge impact on people’s chances of dying of heart disease, and it has long been thought that those factors are almost always outside of one’s control.
Recent research contradicts this, though, and that should give us all renewed hope.
Since the 1930s, we’ve recognized that heart disease runs in families. For the last decade, we’ve been able to identify specific genes that are linked to coronary artery disease. In fact, these genes seem to have a cumulative effect. People who have more of them are at greater risk.
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