From a ScienceDaily.com online release:
Physical inactivity, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol play a greater role than genetics in many young patients with heart disease, according to research presented today at ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology. The findings show that healthy behaviours should be a top priority for reducing heart disease even in those with a family history of early onset.
The study enrolled 1,075 patients under 50, of whom 555 had coronary artery disease (known as premature CAD). Specific conditions included stable angina, heart attack, and unstable angina. The average age was 45 and 87% were men. Risk factor levels and genetics in patients were compared to a control group of 520 healthy volunteers (average age 44, and 86% men). Patients and controls were recruited from the Genes in Madeira and Coronary Disease (GENEMACOR) database.
Five modifiable risk factors were assessed: physical inactivity, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of patients had at least three of these risk factors compared to 31% of controls. In both groups, the likelihood of developing CAD increased exponentially with each additional risk factor. The probability of CAD was 3, 7, and 24 times higher with 1, 2, and 3 or more risk factors, respectively.