Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Does Heart Disease Run in Your Family?

3. Lean In to Your Lifestyle

Your parents didn’t just give you their genes. You likely share some of their habits, like mom's sweet tooth or dad's hours on the couch watching sports on TV.

You can't change your mother and father, but you can change your own habits. Studies clearly show that you can lower your risk when you do that. "You can overcome your genes” in that sense, Sorrentino says.

Do your parents smoke? If you do too, you can quit.

Are they active? If not, you can be the first in your family to make regular exercise a habit. Go for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity (such as brisk walking) on 5 or more days per week.

How do they eat? If they ate too much saturated fat or trans fat, think about whether you need to cut back. If they didn’t get enough fiber, you can make it a point to eat more plant foods, which are great sources of fiber. Do they need to lose a lot of weight? If you do, too, ask your doctor for advice to make that happen for yourself.

You don’t have to follow in your family’s footsteps. Give yourself the freedom to make your own path. It will help your heart and your whole body.

1 | 2
Reviewed on April 27, 2015

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
heart rate
Get the facts.
empty football helmet
red wine
eating blueberries
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Inside A Heart Attack
Omega 3 Sources
Salt Shockers
lowering blood pressure