Cardiovascular Genetics and Risk Assessment

Making an appointment for genetic testing and risk assessment is one of the most responsible choices you can make to prepare for your future — it's a big part of preventative care. Learning about possible risks for heart disease and cardiac disorders can help you make important decisions both for yourself and your loved ones. 

About cardiovascular risk assessment and genetic counseling

At Main Line Health, we provide genetic evaluation to patients at increased risk for heart disease due to family or personal history. Cardiovascular genetic counseling includes a review and discussion of potential risk factors for heart disease. Many of these cardiac disorders can be inherited — such as arrhythmia, cardiomyopathy, congenital heart disease and high cholesterol.

Should you consider cardiovascular genetic evaluation?

You may have increased cardiovascular risk if you or your family members have experienced:

  • Unexplained cardiac arrest or sudden death, including SIDS
  • Unexplained accidents, seizures or syncope (fainting)
  • Cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart) or arrhythmia (heart rhythm problems)
  • Heart transplant or heart failure before age 60
  • Aortic dissection/aneurysm or pacemaker/ICD before age 50
  • Untreated LDL cholesterol levels higher than 190
  • A genetic mutation confirmed to be associated with inherited cardiovascular disease

Most health insurance plans cover the cost of genetic counseling and testing. Check with your insurance plan to find out what is covered.

Making sense of your personal and family history

During a genetics and risk assessment consultation, we will gather more information about your personal medical history and family cardiovascular history.

A personalized risk assessment may include:

  • Overview of cardiovascular risk factors, including genetics, lifestyle and environment
  • Comprehensive analysis of personal and family history and risk assessment
  • Discussion of customized risk management and screening recommendations, including opportunities for research
  • Coordination of genetic testing and interpretation of genetic test results
  • Identification of other family members who may be at risk
  • Identification of supportive and informational resources

Our genetic counselors will analyze all of this information and help you determine which genetic tests, if any, might be appropriate. To learn more about genetics services, call 484.565.GENE (4363).

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