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Genetic Consultation and Risk Assessment

Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessment Program

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Cardiovascular disease can strike randomly, but scientists know that up to 15 percent of heart disease is caused by hereditary factors. The hereditary cardiovascular clinic offers specialized resources for patients diagnosed at a young age or with a strong history of cardiovascular disease and/or sudden cardiac death in their family.

Genetic testing can help you learn if you are at increased risk for hereditary cardiovascular disease, including structural problems (cardiomyopathies) and electrophysiological problems (arrhythmias).

ChristianaCare’s Familial Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessment program will help you understand your individual risk factors for heart and vascular disease based on your personal and family history. Your genetic counselor will help you look at lifestyle choices and environmental factors that may increase your risk, and help you explore the role genetics play in your risk. This information will help you and your physician develop a plan to prevent or manage your risk for cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular Genetic Counseling will help you:

  • Determine if you are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease based on your personal and family health histories.
  • Understand what it means to be at increased risk.
  • Consider the benefits, risks and limitations of available genetic testing.
  • Learn how to decrease your risks for cardiovascular disease, including early detection, lifestyle changes and aggressive management of cardiovascular problems.
  • Determine if you may benefit from and are eligible for current clinical trials or research studies.
  • Coordinate care with specialists for follow-up medical or emotional support.

Keep in mind that while a family history of heart disease could be genetic, it could also reflect a family’s shared habit or lifestyle, such as smoking or a high-fat diet. Your genetic counselor can provide valuable information that will help you and your doctor put a plan in place to better manage your health, make informed family planning decisions and advise other relatives about potential high-risk factors.

Call us today at 302-623-4593, option 1, or toll free at 1-800-811-8116 to schedule a genetic counseling appointment with ChristianaCare’s Center for Heart & Vascular Health.