Lisa Marie Presley was hospitalized following a cardiac arrest on Thursday. Her official cause of death is still unknown, pending a toxicology report, and she had a family history of heart problems that may have been a contributing factor.
Her father, Elvis Presley, died at age 42 on Aug. 16, 1977, when Lisa Marie was 9 years old. Elvis' cause of death, reported by The Washington Post at the time, was due to cardiac arrhythmia with ventricular fibrillation, which means the heart beats abnormally then stops.
There were three factors initially cited in his death including an enlarged heart, clogging of the coronary arteries and high blood pressure. He also had an addiction to opiates that contributed to his death.
Elvis' mother Gladys Love Presley also died at the early age of 46 of heart failure in 1958. And Vernon Presley, Lisa Marie's grandfather, died of cardiac arrest at 63 in 1979. While heart failure and cardiac arrest are not the same, both can be fatal. Heart failure indicates that the heart is not pumping as much blood as the body needs, while cardiac arrest means the heart stops beating.
Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Two year old Elvis Presley poses for a family portrait with his parents Vernon Presley and Gladys Presley in 1937 in Tupelo, Mississippi
Having a history of heart disease in your family makes you more likely to develop a heart ailment in the future, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Many types of heart disease can be passed down in families. According to the Mayo Clinic, family history of a heart disease increases the risk of coronary artery disease especially if a parent developed it at an early age.
In some cases, heart disease at a young age can be a sign of hypercholesterolemia, a genetic disorder that causes high cholesterol.
It's important to collect family health history to determine whether someone is more at risk of heart disease. If you're aware of the risk you may be able to get ahead of the problem, according to Penn Medicine.