Family History: Heart Health Clues

Family History: Heart Health Clues

Do you know your family’s medical history?

Especially pertaining to heart health, it’s important to evaluate one’s family medical history to see if there’s a clear link between bad health and unhealthy lifestyle choices. It’s also a good idea to know if any of your relatives suffer from certain conditions that might make them more prone to heart disease. For example, if someone in your family has had angina, you should find out how often this diagnosis can result in heart issues. In addition to learning about family medical history, it’s also a good idea to learn about common medical conditions among family members. This will allow you to determine whether you should have a medical screening with your doctor, or whether certain medical conditions are signs that you have a family history that may predispose you to certain diseases. Learning about medical conditions, as well as about your family medical history, can provide you with valuable information about how you can best care for yourself.

Family History Can Serve as a Guide:

“Inherited heart conditions are often genetic in origin and we have over the last 20 years been identifying genetic mutations that are responsible for many different cardiac conditions,” explained Dr. Judith Mackall. Mackall is University Hospitals’ director of the Cardiovascular Genetics Clinic Center. Dr.Mackall goes on to say, “some things patients share about their family could be important clues about diseases they have inherited. One of those inherited heart diseases is cardiomyopathy, or an abnormality of the heart muscle itself. With this, there are some patients who have a family history of heart failure. “The most commonly inherited cardiomyopathy is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is an abnormal thickening of the heart muscle. It is one of the leading causes of sudden death in young people,” stated Mackall.

Know Your Predisposition: 

If you know someone in your family is predisposed to a heart condition, there are different ways doctors can screen for it. “So we can screen you for the disease. It doesn’t tell us whether you are carrying a gene mutation, but we often will only look for gene mutations in people who are manifesting the disease,” explained Mackall. If you know your parents have a genetic condition, and you have children, Dr. Mackall suggests sharing that information with their pediatrician. “Some of the heart muscle disorders we screen every two-to-three years in childhood because we recognize that these can develop at any time,” described Mackall. 

When it comes to genetic testing and your insurance:

“So, your genetic testing that we do to identify a health problem, just because you have the mutation, doesn’t mean you have the disease. You can carry the gene and not express it,” said Mackall. Legally, health insurance companies can’t use genetic information to determine coverage.

What does the mean for you?

Vita Medical Solutions offers cardiovascular genetic testing. Mutations associated with inherited cardiovascular diseases and sudden cardiac death can be detected through cardiac genetic testing. This type of testing presents an in-depth look at an individual’s increased risk for various cardiac conditions such as:

  • Heart Disease
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Arrhythmia
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Hypercholesterolemia

Don’t let the first sign be a heart attack or stroke.

Vita Medical Solutions can work directly with your Primary Care Physician. With qualifying insurance, this test can cost you nothing out of pocket. To schedule a call with one of Vita Medical’s Patient Service Consultants – Click Here.

Call us 1.800.590.9292 (toll free) or email at [email protected].

Test. Know. Educate. Advocate.

See full article here: https://www.cleveland19.com/2021/02/19/family-history-could-hold-clues-your-heart-health/