Endocarditis

Endocarditis is an infection in the inner lining of your heart. Endocarditis typically occurs when bacteria or other germs enter the body, through the mouth for example, and spread to the heart through the bloodstream. This can damage heart valves and cause other complications if left untreated. While serious, endocarditis rarely takes place in people with healthy hearts and can be effectively managed by your cardiologist.

Family history of heart disease

Heart disease that typically implies coronary artery disease which is the most common type of cardiovascular disease in the US. Other types of heart disease such as congestive heart failure (including cardiomyopathy), heart valve disease, or atrial fibrillation are not usually included although more evidence is suggesting some degree of genetic predisposition to each of these types of heart problems.

When referring to family history, the traditional definition, is if a first-degree male relative (e.g. father, brother) has suffered a heart attack before the age of 55, or if a first-degree female relative has suffered one before the age of 65, you are at greater risk of developing heart disease.

Family history is a risk factor that is part of a spectrum rather than being a black-and-white situation.  A parent with an early-age heart attack should be a red flag for their children. For instance, if both of your parents have suffered from heart disease before the age of 55, your risk of developing heart disease can rise to 50% compared to the general population.

You can protect yourself by taking care of your heart, as the development of cardiovascular disease involves many different factors, not only your family history. 
Whereas family history indicates a genetic predisposition to heart attack, it also means that you may be genetically vulnerable to developing other risk factors, like a cholesterol abnormality, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure — all of which can create a predisposition to heart disease.

If you do have a strong family history of heart attacks, particularly at a young age, it’s in your best interest to make sure your blood pressure is under control and get your cholesterol checked.


Charles A. Shoultz, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.C.   •   Charles A. Shoultz, III, M.D., F.A.C.C.   •   Rodney A. Brown, M.D., F.A.C.C.
William R. Pitts, M.D., F.A.C.C.   •   Donald S. (Buck) Cross, M.D., F.A.C.C. • Andrew K. Day, M.D., F.A.C.C.
Sherwin F. Attai, M.D., F.A.C.C.   •   Shawn J. Skeen, M.D. F.A.C.C.   •   Harvey R. Chen, M.D. F.A.C.C.
Adam M. Falcone, M.D., F.A.C.C.   •   Brian C. Barnett, M.D., F.A.C.C.

Diplomates, American Board of Internal Medicine,
Cardiovascular Disease, Interventional Cardiology, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology