How your genes can determine the likelihood of getting a heart attack

Dr. Yale (Yoel) R. Smith MD, a Triple Board Certified Physician, based in Florida, talks in detail about heart attack and the role of genetics in determining the likelihood of getting a heart attack and its preventive measures. He is an experienced and well-regarded medical professional with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the detection, prevention and treatment of heart attack. He has a great reputation for his diagnostic skills and his ability to provide personalized care to his patients. He is known to be an advocate of preventative medicine and emphasizes the importance of early detection and treatment of heart-related issues. He is actively involved in the latest cutting-edge research and technologies to stay abreast of new developments in the field.

How do Heart Attacks occur?

A heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction, occurs when the blood flow to a section of the heart is blocked, usually by a buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries. This blockage prevents oxygen and nutrients from reaching the heart muscle, causing damage or death of the heart tissue.

The process of a heart attack typically begins with the formation of plaque in the coronary arteries. Plaque is made up of cholesterol, fat, and other substances that can accumulate on the inner walls of the arteries. Over time, the plaque can harden and narrow the arteries, making it more difficult for blood to flow through.

As the plaque continues to build up, it can eventually rupture or tear, exposing the fatty material inside to the bloodstream. As mentioned by Dr Smith in the video, the body sees this as bleeding and it sends in blood cells and platelets to form a blood clot, which can completely block the artery and stop the flow of blood to the heart.

When the blood flow to the heart is blocked, the heart muscle does not receive enough oxygen and nutrients, which can lead to damage or death of the heart muscle cells. This can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and other symptoms. In some cases, the blockage may be sudden and complete, while in others it may develop gradually over time.

Understanding the causes of heart attack

Dr Smith shares that the underlying cause for the heart attack has a lot to do with genetics. Genetics can play a role in the development of heart disease and heart attack by influencing various risk factors. Some genetic mutations or a gene SNP (abnormal gene) passed on through family can affect the metabolism of lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides, leading to high levels of LDL cholesterol or formation of plaque, some mutations may affect the functioning of the heart and blood vessels in ways that increase the risk of heart disease and heart attack.

For example, certain genetic variations are associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, which is another major risk factor for heart disease. Additionally, certain genetic variations may increase the risk of inflammation, which is thought to contribute to the development of heart disease.

It’s also worth noting that these genetic factors may interact with environmental and lifestyle factors, such as diet, physical activity and smoking, to influence the risk of heart disease and heart attack. However, it’s important to note that genetics is just one of many factors that can influence the risk of heart attack.

Risk factors for heart attacks include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, and a family history of heart disease. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, not smoking, and managing any underlying health conditions, can help reduce the risk of a heart attack.

Dr. Smith stresses that heart attack is not specific to a certain age group and can occur at any age. It is important to be aware of family history of heart attacks, particularly if someone in the family has experienced a heart attack at a younger age. In these cases, it is recommended to get tested and take preventative measures to reduce the risk of heart attack. Therefore, it is important to be aware of family history and consult with a cardiologist regularly to determine any potential risk.

Lifestyle and diet changes for reducing heart attack risk

Dr. Smith emphasizes several steps that can be taken to prevent heart attack, including:

  • Regular exercise, with swimming being the best exercise that builds the heart muscle, clears the lungs, and overall health. Any exercise performed should be evaluated by a cardiologist to ensure that it does not endanger the individual.
  • A healthy diet that is low in sugar and other inflammatory foods, such as types of fructose and lipids, deep-fried foods.
  • Monitoring and managing risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, and taking appropriate action to control these conditions.
  • Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Knowing the signs of a heart attack and seeking prompt medical attention if symptoms occur.
  • Genetic testing to identify individuals who may be at higher risk for heart disease due to inherited disorders such as Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH)
  • Following national and international guidelines for the prevention and management of heart disease.

It’s important to note that Dr. Yole Smith’s suggestions are a combination of lifestyle changes, medical monitoring, and genetic testing. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, working with a healthcare professional to monitor risk factors, and seeking medical attention when needed can greatly reduce the risk of heart attack. Additionally, genetic testing can help identify individuals who may be at higher risk for heart disease and allow them to take steps to reduce their risk.

Preventing heart attack through genetic testing

Dr Smith mentions about the several genetic tests that are used to detect and prevent heart attack:

NMR Lipid Panel 

This test measures the levels of different types of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, including LDL and HDL cholesterol, which can help identify individuals at risk for heart disease.


It is a cutting-edge test that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect early signs of heart disease. The test is performed by taking an image of the coronary artery and analyzing it for the presence of plaque. The results of the test can provide important information about a person’s risk of heart disease, including the level of plaque, liaisons present in the blood vessels and the potential for blockages in the blood flow. Plaque can be generated over decades and if individuals do not have the genetics to metabolize it, it can become aggressive.

IV Chelation Therapy

This therapy, which is approved by the American Medical Association (AMA), uses a chelating agent to bind and remove heavy metals and other toxins from the body. This can help to remove plaque from the blood vessels, which is believed to improve blood flow and reduce the risk of heart attack. The theory behind the treatment is that the chelating agent binds to the calcium in the plaque and helps to dissolve it, which can improve blood flow and reduce the risk of heart attack. 

Vibrant Cardiacs

This test looks at specific genetic variants that are related to heart disease. The test examines a person’s DNA to identify genetic variants that may increase the risk of developing heart disease. This test is used to provide a report on an individual’s overall risk of developing heart disease and to identify genetic variants that may be responsible for the development of heart disease. The report also gives an indication of the time when the genetic variants become active, which can help to mitigate and go around the genes to fix it.

It’s important to note that these tests are not always widely available and not all of them are FDA approved. Additionally, these tests should be used in conjunction with other risk-assessment methods such as physical examination, family history, and lifestyle factors. Genetic testing is not always 100% accurate and the results should be interpreted by a healthcare professional with knowledge in genetics and cardiovascular disease. It’s also important to consult with a doctor who is skilled in using these cutting-edge tests before deciding to undergo any of these tests.


Heart attack is a serious condition in which the blood flow to the heart is blocked, causing damage to the heart muscle. Genetics plays a significant role in the likelihood of experiencing a heart attack, with certain genetic variations increasing the risk. It is important to note that family history of heart attacks may also be a factor in determining one’s risk. To detect and prevent heart attack, a combination of genetic testing, healthy diet, and lifestyle changes are recommended. It’s important for patients to have a detailed consultation with their doctor to understand the risks and benefits of these tests and therapies before considering using them. Regular check-ups and testing are essential to detect the risk of heart attack and take necessary steps to avoid it.

Disclaimer: The information in the video and the text is for educational purposes only. The expert health advice offered on this video are that of the specialists. For more details, you can contact them directly or consult your health expert.