Cardiovascular diseases: how important is DNA and how important is lifestyle and the environment? Professor Gianluigi Condorelli, Director of the Cardiovascular Department at Humanitas, a guest in Tg2 Medicina 33 studio, spoke about it.

Lifestyle is fundamental in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and, as Professor Condorelli explains, even if we hear about people in old age who are well, despite having adopted an unhealthy lifestyle, we must remember: “although DNA counts, the concept of a risk factor is a group concept, which must be disconnected from the anecdote. We need to evaluate how many people who have very high cholesterol or who are not physically active or who eat badly survive compared to those who eat good, otherwise there is confusion.


Genetic preparation and lifestyle

Fortunately, in the presence of a parent who suffers or has suffered from cardiovascular disease, it is not necessary to worry, but “it is still important to control oneself and adopt an appropriate lifestyle because genetic predisposition plays a role, but cardiovascular diseases are predictable and preventable. Therefore, if a parent has had a cardiovascular incident, you should pay more attention to his or her lifestyle,” the specialist said.

Professor Condorelli then gave the example of the island of Okinawa in Japan, an island where the percentage of centenarians is very high. The opening of the American military bases on the island also brought with it Western eating habits, such as fast food, and the children of centenarians began to develop myocardial infarction at the age of 50. An example of how without a healthy lifestyle, the “good genes”, alone, do not prevent cardiovascular disease.

“Cardiovascular diseases are multi-genic, where individual genes contribute little, but lifestyle is very important because it can guarantee against the development of cardiovascular disorders, even in the presence of genes that predispose to the development of the same”, recommended the Professor.


Watch the interview with Professor Condorelli, from 03:44 minutes: click here.