A genetic history of heart disease, smoking, or type 2 diabetes are all factors that can raise your risk of developing heart disease. In this video, Laurence Sperling, MD, the founder and director of Preventive Cardiology at the Emory Clinic in Atlanta, explains how he focuses first on family history when examining patients with early signs of heart disease. Then he looks at the individual's risk factors, like smoking or high cholesterol; often there are clues that can point to the likelihood that a patient will develop heart problems or cardiovascular disease.