Genetic Testing in Walk-in Cardiology Clinics Can Benefit Patients

DNA is the genetic blueprint of an individual. When genetic mutations in DNA occur (natural or environmental), they can change the structure of that person’s genetic code. Once the genetic changes are made, then the corresponding symptoms can detected with genetic testing. Many cardiovascular conditions are hereditary.  Your genetics may hold the key to earlier interventions in these hereditary cardiovascular diseases, leading to a better outcome and overall better patient care.

Doctors and researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and Baylor cardiologist recently conducted a study to determine if providing genetic testing for patients in cardiovascular clinics would benefit clinical care as a part of a precision medicine initiative.

The researchers found the genetic test results did have implications on the course of treatment for approximately 1/3 of the participants. The results from the study were published in Genetics in Medicine.

Study Highlights:

  • The Genetic Test sequenced a total of 158 genes associated with medically actionable cardiovascular conditions
  • 709 patients were enrolled in the study and received free genetic test as a part of their routine care
  • Results were shared with the patient’s doctor and entering into their EMR (electronic medical record)

The Results: 

  • 32% of participants received a genetic finding that implicated their clinical management
  • Of those, 11% were referred to a genetic specialties for further care
  • Out of all participants, 9% had an inherited gene mutation associated with cardiovascular disease, such as cardiomyopathy
  • Out of all participants,  another 9% had a high overall genetic risk score

 

“This study shows that a large proportion of individuals in select ambulatory care clinics can benefit from genetic data. There is tangible follow-up care for people who received a positive result, and in many cases for their family members.”- Dr. Richard Gibbs, senior author of the study and director of the Human Genome Sequencing Center and Wofford Cain Chair and professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine.

“We have shown that genomic medicine can be integrated into cardiology clinical care and that we can find medically actionable issues,” said Dr. Christie Ballantyne, a senior author of the study and professor of medicine and chief of the sections of cardiology and cardiovascular research at Baylor. “We treat a lot of cardiovascular diseases late in the process. If we can start our care earlier, we can prevent cardiovascular events and improve outcomes. Genetic testing may help us to identify not only who is at risk, but also allow us to screen and identify other family members who may be at risk.”

What the physicians are saying: 

  • The study also gathered feedback from physicians, mainly to determine how implemented genetic testing impacted their work with the patients
  • 84% said they changed the course of patient care based on the genetic testing results
  • 60% believed the conducting the tests and study improved clinical care

“While the role of genetic testing in children has been known for some time, this study clearly demonstrates the benefits of comprehensive genetic screening in adults as well,” said Dr. David Murdock, first author of the paper and assistant professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor at the time of research.

Interested in genetic testing or want to learn more about your options?

Scientific advances reinforce the ever growing need for genetic testing. Vita’s Vision: To provide all individuals with genetic testing options (Test.), facilitate understanding of personal genetics (Know.), accelerate learning and interpretation of personal genetics (Educate.), create actionable implementation of genetic knowledge (Advocate.).

Our ultimate goal or Mission is to make personalized medicine accessible for every person and their family, and we plan to accomplish this goal through our vision.

Ready to join us on our Mission? Learn more about your personal and family genetic makeup and personalized medicine options through our genetic test offerings. These include:

Hereditary Cancer Screening (CGx)
Hereditary Cardiac Screening (CARx)
Pharmacogenomics (PGx)
More Coming Soon!

Even better news, with qualifying insurance, this test can cost you nothing out of pocket. Click here to schedule a call with one of Vita Medical’s Patient Services Consultants to find out your eligibility.

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

Test. Know. Educate. Advocate.

Source:
Journal reference:

Murdock, D.R., et al. (2021) Genetic testing in ambulatory cardiology clinics reveals high rate of findings with clinical management implications. Genetics in Medicine. doi.org/10.1038/s41436-021-01294-8.