Heart disease is a very common condition in the United States and worldwide; it's the leading cause of death, in men and women, both in the U.S. and the world at large. Unlike some diseases, your chances of developing the condition often stem from genetics. While some rarer conditions that lead to heart disease result from single or a couple genetic changes—like disorders that affect the heart's muscles, the electrical rhythms, or the tendency to build up plaques from high cholesterol in the blood—most instances of coronary artery disease result from a much larger number of genetic changes. To date, researchers have identified at least 67 places within our DNA that can increase the chances of developing heart disease. Within each one, you can inherit one, two, or no copies of these genes. As the number of copies of the genes you have add up, so does your risk for developing heart disease.