Is It True You Can Inherit Cardiac Arrest from Your Family?

If you know or have a loved one who has had a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest, or sudden cardiac death, they may be at risk for developing heart disease. A family history makes one more likely to develop heart disease, which can lead to cardiac arrest. To reduce this risk, one should get clinical testing for a family history of heart problems and take measures now to protect your health. Don’t forget to also stock up on defibrillator supplies.

Before Anything Else, Yes, the Condition Is Hereditary

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a medical emergency that happens when the heart suddenly stops beating. While it can happen to anyone, most people who suffer from SCA have known risk factors, such as a family history.

Common risk factors for contracting cardiac arrest include:

  • Coronary artery disease, a condition when the coronary arteries are narrowed or thickened with plaque, restricting blood flow to the heart. This can lead to heart attacks, chest pain, and other heart problems.

Causes for coronary artery disease include:

  • Regular smoking.
  • Being overweight.
  • Physical inactivity.
  • An unhealthy diet.
  • Alcohol abuse.
  • High blood pressure.
  • High blood cholesterol.
  • A family history of heart disease.
  • A previous heart attack, which causes 21 daily deaths in Australia and occurs. When this happens, you may be at a higher risk of sudden cardiac arrest, which plagues Australians ages 50 and below.
  • Heart failure, a condition where the heart can't pump blood effectively. This results in a decreased ability to supply oxygen to the body and can lead to several life-threatening arrhythmias.
  • A prior stroke, though there is still some mystery surrounding the connection between stroke and sudden cardiac arrest. This is why researchers continue to explore the link between the two.
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy, a type of heart failure where the heart becomes enlarged and doesn't pump blood as well.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a heart condition that can lead to arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy. This is a problem with the heart's electrical system that can cause irregular heartbeats. This can seriously concern children and athletes at risk for sudden cardiac arrest.

A family history of heart disease can be a combination of different factors, including genes, epigenetics, and lifestyle choices. If parents are overweight, don't exercise, eat an unhealthy diet, drink too much alcohol, or smoke, their children are more likely to do the same, which increases their predisposition for heart disease and cardiac events like heart attacks and cardiac arrest.

Lifestyle factors that contribute to SCA are:

  • Obesity.
  • Diabetes.
  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Alcohol use disorder.
  • Recreational drug use (methamphetamines, cocaine, opiates, alcohol).
  • Antiarrhythmic drug use (amiodarone, sotalol, flecainide, quinidine, antidepressants, antipsychotics, antibiotics, and methadone).

Regarding the last two lifestyle factors, discussing the risks and benefits of a prescription treatment with your doctor is important, especially with a family history of these diseases. Reducing or stopping a prescription treatment can be risky and should only be done with medical supervision.

Any of the above subpoints are cause for concern and preparation to stock up on defibrillator supplies.


While your certainty and risks for a cardiac increase if it runs in your family, there are positives, too. Now you know it’s bound to happen, you can take preventive measures as early as now to limit or even eliminate this from happening.

Prepare with Restart the Heart

Be ready for anything with defibrillator supplies from Restart the Heart. We’re a trusted supplier in Australia that provides AED pads and batteries for all device brands. Order online today through our website and experience our fast delivery and great customer care!