Genetic Testing a Tool for Families Dealing with Certain Heart Diseases

Genetic Testing a Tool for Families Dealing with Certain Heart Diseases

A recent study from American Heart Association concludes that, “Investigating the hereditary roots of some cardiovascular diseases could help patients and their doctors make decisions, identify risks, and manage treatments.”

A statement from Dr. Kiran Musunuru, chair of the study’s writing group said, “With most genetic cardiovascular diseases, inheriting a mutation (or variant) from a parent substantially increases the risk of getting the disease but does not guarantee the disease.”

“In some cases, it might be possible to act early and prevent the disease,” said Musunuru, professor of cardiovascular medicine and genetics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia. “In other cases, having the mutation for a genetically caused cardiovascular condition might lead to different and possibly more aggressive treatment.”

“Although genetic testing has seen explosive growth in the past few years, both in the clinical setting and with direct-to-consumer testing, genetic testing for heart disease should be reserved for specific patients,” Musunuru said.

The statement went on to explain, “before considering testing, the statement says a health care provider and patient should document family medical history, ideally going back three generations, to determine if there is a pattern of certain types of heart disease. Then, the screening should be reserved for people diagnosed with an inherited cardiovascular disease or suspected of having one, or for those with a family member who has a gene variation for one of the conditions.”

Because immediate family members such as parents, siblings or children might share genetic variants predisposing them to an inherited heart disease, they are considered at higher risk for the conditions. So, once a genetic variant is identified, immediate family should consider testing and counseling, the statement said.

A family health history can sometimes prove to be more revealing than other tools that are used in genetic testing. In fact, family history is usually one of the best tools available to family and doctors when making a diagnosis and developing treatment plans for a patient. In this case, genetic testing can reveal additional information and facilitate family health history counseling. This family history has been proven to be highly useful in identifying certain risk factors and providing support groups for families dealing with specific issues. This particular tool can be very powerful when it comes to understanding your family’s health risks.

However, there are certain precautions that need to be followed when cardiac genetic testing is performed on patients. The patients and their family members should first be informed about the purpose of the cardiac genetic testing and what will be reported on the results. Patients and their family members should understand the possible outcomes of the cardiac genetic testing. The presented situations clearly illustrate the significance of correct diagnosis and appropriate report interpretation in determining the condition and ongoing treatment of patients with hereditary cardiovascular diseases. The involvement of a genetic counselor in the patient’s follow-up care and in interpreting the results of testing is very important.

If you have a diagnosed hereditary heart condition or suspect you may? Does someone in your family have cardiac issues? Cardiac genetic testing can help you understand your risk and is becoming a staple in a balanced approach to fighting heart related issues.

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.

Read the full AHA article here:


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